The First Annual Aimee Mann Christmas Variety Show kicked off December 4 at Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco. The 11-city tour winds its way down the West Coast and then jumps across to the East for 6 shows, wrapping up December 20 in Alexandria, Va.

Phillips’ participation on the tour comes through his friendship with Mann, as well as his appearance on her recently released Christmas album, One More Drifter In The Snow. The singer provides spirited narration for Mann’s hip cover of “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” on the album.

Phillips, who has described the Christmas tour as “one big traveling holiday circus on ice,” will also be performing his own material on the tour, including selections from his upcoming release, Strangelet.

In a nod to the classic variety shows of the past, Mann’s Christmas Variety Show will be hosted by a pair of well known comedians, and will include appearances by a number of special guests. Hollywood comedian Paul F. Tompkins will emcee dates on the West Coast and Saturday Night Live’s Fred Armisen will front the East Coast dates.