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Desi Comedy Fest has Indians, Pakistanis laughing together

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Samson Koletkar is co-founder of the Desi Comedy Fest, running Aug. 9-19 all over the Bay Area. (Courtesy photo)

Comic Samson Koletkar has a great response to the not-quite-rhetorical question: “Where else can you find Indians and Pakistanis sitting together and laughing?”

The answer is: The fifth annual Desi Comedy Fest, billed as “the biggest South Asian Comedy Festival in the U.S.,” opening Aug. 9 at Cobb’s Comedy Club in The City. The 11-day showcase continues through Aug. 19 in San Francisco, Berkeley, Mill Valley, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Milpitas, Dublin and Mountain View.

The festival’s producers, Bay Area-based Indian-born comedians Koletkar and Abhay Nadkarni, started it in 2014 after Koletkar successfully produced a few popular shows with Pakistani and Indian comics on Aug. 1. 15, 2013, Pakistani and Indian Independence days.

This year, more than 30 comics from across the country — with Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Iranian, Syrian-Mexican, Libyan, Japanese and Filipino backgrounds — appear.

Among the acts to watch for are: New York-based Adam Mamawala, Alingon Mitra and Usama Siddiquee; Los Angeles-based Ahmed Bharoocha; Chicago’s Azhar Usman and Kiran Deol from Los Angeles.

For tickets and details, visit http://www.desicomedyfest.com/2018-comedians.

POP NOTES

Pat Monahan of Train was in fine form at Oracle Arena on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018. (Leslie Katz/S.F. Examiner)

Train’s hometown show (with the ever-steady Daryl Hall and John Oates) at Oakland’s Oracle Arena on Tuesday night was a gas, and frontman Pat Monahan worked the crowd like a true master.

He didn’t miss a note singing “If It’s Love” while he amazingly took selfies with phones fans threw onstage — and not just one or two. Throughout the entire tune, he and lucky followers were tossing devices back and forth.

During “Sweet Virginia,” he signed a Warriors’ team shirt, put it on, had the band sign it, then took it off and gave it to a lucky kid in the crowd. And in “Save Me, San Francisco,” the video screen lit up with scenes from The City while huge white beach balls were batted among the crowd on the floor.

Meanwhile, on Monday evening, Oates visited Renee & Irish Greg’s Pop Up (Bay Area radio personalities Renee Richardson and “Irish Greg” McQuaid) at Haight Street Art Center, where he sang tunes from his new solo album as well as a few obscure and terrific early Hall and Oates’ songs, all acoustic.

When Renee commented that his voice “still sounds amazing,” he deadpanned, “That’s because Daryl sings all the time.”

FREE MUSEUM PASSES

Museum Day 2018, sponsored by Smithsonian.com, is offering free admission to various local museums — including the Museum of Craft and Design in The City and Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos — on Sept. 22.

Starting Aug. 15, download tickets at Smithsonian.com/museumday/search, where’s there’s also a handy list of participating museums.

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