SketchFest Seattle is the country's oldest sketch-comedy festival. It also claims to be the best because the acts are picked from around the country by a five-person jury. Two groups perform each night, but they are rarely both good.

For example: At the September 6 gala opening, the Cody Rivers Show put on a hell of a performance. Everyone knew they would, because that local duo—and their wigs—are never not-funny. But the opening act, Karla (from Los Angeles), was almost always not-funny. Too often, the two-woman routines (about party girls, bitchy roommates, and gibbering pre-teens) felt like a contest to portray the most annoying human alive. That strategy quickly became tiring.

Since the SketchFest jurors can't be trusted, you're going to have to make educated choices about what to see—use YouTube to your advantage.

The Apple Sisters put a 1940s spin on sung musical comedy—it sounds stupid, but they're great and have the Upright Citizens Brigade seal of approval. But you can't just enjoy the Apple Sisters—unless you leave early or late, you also have to sit through Drop Six (not funny) or Party Central, USA (too long and contrived, not an actual party).

It's hard to tell with Keilly and Roeters—some clips, like the petticoat battle, look promising. Some not so much. The best bet this weekend is Girly, from Chicago. They have a more conversational style and their YouTube clips (about obnoxious British tourists and a cheerleader's funeral) are pretty funny. They're performing on Saturday with the Cory and Doug Show, who don't have any clips on YouTube—you'll have to decide whether they're worth the risk. recommended