Cool stuff to do this week

Awesomely awkward

Before silly videos like 1994's Diane Horner’s Country Hip Hop dancing (right here!) can go viral on the Internet, they need to first be discovered—usually somewhere in an old pile of discarded VHS tapes. Predating the invention of YouTube by nearly a year, the Found Footage Festival debuted in New York City in 2004—and has been uncovering similarly bizarre, weird and unintentionally hilarious VHS clips ever since. In its 10-year anniversary showcase, the festival stops at the Witch Room (1815 19th Street) at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, December 9. 

The pair running this series of off-kilter movie screenings comprises Nick Prueher (The Late Show with David Letterman, The Colbert Report) and Joe Pickett (The Onion). Back in 1991, the friends started building a collection of VHS tapes unearthed at thrift stores and garage sales. Then, in 2004, they showed some of their favorite clips in the back of a bar in New York City. People seemed to have a good time watching; so they polished it up, took their videos on the road and over the past decade, it’s grown into a nationally touring film festival with up to 100 shows a year. 

This year, expect even more footage from awesomely awkward instructional tapes such as How to Have Cybersex on the Internet, Butt Camp, and a fitness regimen called “Tiger Moves” to be burned into your brain (official trailer here). Plus: film of Chef Keith (played by Prueher) pranking local television news outlets across the Midwest with a handful of bogus Thanksgiving leftovers recipes, and a mockup cover of a fake book to boot (Leftovers Right: Making a Winner of Last Night’s Dinner). Here’s a sample of that—in case you actually stil have Thanksgiving leftovers:

Tickets for Tuesday’s show cost $11, and more clips and information can be found at

—Jonathan Mendick

More stuff below after the page break.


Thursday, December 4, through Sunday, December 6

Tinker invites attendees to participate in art installations by experimenting with digital animation, conductive ink drawings, light, sound, tiny engines and all sorts of other interactive tools. The audience becomes the art—sort of like a Marina Abramović piece, only with puppets and less crying. $8-$15, 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday at the Benvenuti Performing Arts Center, 4600 Blackrock Drive,

—Deena Drewis

Tamale Night

Friday, December 5

If you’re looking to eat out this Friday and would like to support a worthy cause such as Sacramento’s art community, head on out to the Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association’s First Friday Neighborhood Dinner: Tamale Night. Bring your appetite along with some friends or family. Expect a vegetarian option in addition to the traditional pork and chicken offerings. $4-$8, 6 p.m. at Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th Street,

—Eddie Jorgensen

PJs in the Park

Saturday, December 6

It’s the holidays—time to hang out at the park in your pajamas! No, really. At this family event, there will be games, crafts, pictures with Santa, breakfast and lots of people in their PJs. Heck, it’s a Christmas tradition. Also, bring unwrapped toys for needy children; they’ll be donated to a local charity. Free, 9 a.m. at Raley Field, 400 Ballpark Drive, Sports Parkway in West Sacramento;

—Aaron Carnes

Tabletops for Tots

Saturday, December 6, through Sunday, December 7

Here’s an event that should feel like Christmas morning for nerds, geeks and gamers: a 24-hour tabletop gaming marathon to benefit Child’s Play Charity, which provides games for kids in hospitals. Special guests include local stand-up comedians, actors and cosplayers. $10, Noon Saturday to noon Sunday at Great Escape Games, 1250 Howe Avenue, Suite 3A;

—Jonathan Mendick

Alternative Gift Fair

Sunday, December 7

By the time you read this, consumers will have descended upon Black Friday sales in massive numbers. However, there is another alternative: this free gift fair where you can browse tables and make donations to many Sacramento area charities. Additionally, you can learn about green options and, of course, the Spiritual Life Center, which  provide ministries and services for the public. Free, 10:15 a.m. at the Spiritual Life Center, 2201 Park Towne Circle;

—Eddie Jorgensen

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