Dearest Kung Pao-ites,
I’m so glad you found us, whether you’ve been attending Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ for one year or 26 or just stumbled upon our web site.
This year (2019), is our 27th year, and it’s been quite a ride!
I honestly thought I’d do the show once, in 1993, but then the event made Critic’s Choice in all the papers, sold out with a line around the block, 200 people were turned away, the show grew exponentially each year and kept selling out, AND Henny Youngman graced our stage, as did Shelley Berman, and David Brenner. (All 3 have since passed on.)
And here we are having celebrated our Silver Anniversary two years ago!
We’ve given thousands of people in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond a TRADITION! (Some have attended for 25+ years; one couple comes up from LA every year.) We’ve formed a family. And we’ve lost some of our Kung Pao family members (Howard Siegel, Sanfy Weinberg, Barney Sherman, Marty Sussman…) We also lost my old friend, Marty White, the designer of our logo. We became friends when I was 9, and he was in his 20’s.
The New York Times did a ¾ page story on Kung Pao in 1994 (the second year)!
We founded a “Comedy Clinic” at the local Jewish nursing home. The bi-weekly class ran for a dozen years. It’s one of our proudest accomplishments.
We have raised 10’s of 1000s of dollars for various charities.
An entire chapter of the book A Kosher Christmas: 'Tis the Season to be Jewish focuses on Kung Pao.
Two years ago I appeared in the Canadian documentary “Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas” this December. The film, which is about the Jews who wrote the Christmas songs, was on TV in Canada and Europe and did the film fest circuit.
If it wasn’t for a phone conversation with my summer camp friend, Tobi, in 1993 about the irony of having just told Jewish jokes at a Chinese restaurant in South Hadley, MA the night before, Kung Pao would never have been born, and I might have a desk job (though I doubt it).
If you’re attending the show this year, please say hi or drop me a line.