Comedian Elayne Boosler cracks ‘Kung Pao’ 

click to enlarge In her inaugural appearance in the show, Elayne Boosler headlines the 19th Kung Pao Kosher Comedy at New Asia Restaurant in The City. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • In her inaugural appearance in the show, Elayne Boosler headlines the 19th Kung Pao Kosher Comedy at New Asia Restaurant in The City.

Sometimes the truth hurts, but in this case, it’s actually funny: Elayne Boosler is a bona fide “Kung Pao Kosher Comedy” virgin.

“Yes, I’ll be getting baptized,” Boosler jokes about her first time participating in the popular annual comedy showcase that comes to life in a bold spectacle Christmas week at — where else? — a Chinese restaurant.

Boosler insists she will also be “putting the Christ back in Christmas” alongside fellow comics Avi Liberman, Jeff Applebaum and Lisa Geduldig.

But as headliner, Boosler has to be on her comedic game. In this 19th year of “Kung Pao,” she’s excited to be in The City, where she’s performed many times over the course of her 38-year entertainment career.

“San Francisco is really fun and liberal, and it’s my kind of politics,” she says. “It’s like being Jewish in front of Jewish people.

When Richard Pryor played The Apollo, he was a little more ‘inside’ than when he played a ‘white’ venue. So coming to San Francisco, especially on a Jewish gig, this feels a little more ‘inside.’”

Boosler’s celebrity began soaring in the 1980s. With appearances on many sitcoms along with her popular Showtime comedy specials and participation in “Comic Relief,” she became one of the hottest female comedic acts of her generation. Her work writing for television has also been prolific.

“There’s zero frustration in the work,” she says of being a comic. “With stand-up, you’re the writer, producer, director. You get to completely express yourself every single night any way you wish with no interference. It’s fantastic.”

Boosler is also jazzed about being an activist. In 2001 she launched www.tailsofjoy.net, which has saved thousands of animals and called for better treatment of them around the globe.

In fact, a portion of “Kung Pao’s” revenue will be donated to the cause as well as Jewish Family and Children’s Services, L’Chaim Adult Day Health Care Center and Muttville Senior Dog Rescue.

In the meantime, the comedy menu looks delicious.

“I’m pretty equal opportunity when it comes to issues to joke about,” Boosler quips.  "I'd rather have good government and write dieting jokes." 

IF YOU GO

Kung Pao Kosher Comedy

With Elayne Boosler, Avi Liberman, Jeff Applebaum and Lisa Geduldig

Where: New Asia Restaurant, 772 Pacific Ave. (between Grant Avenue and Stockton Street), San Francisco
When: 6 and 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 5 and 8:30 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $42 to $62
Contact: (925) 275-9005; www.koshercomedy.com/kungpao/

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Greg Archer

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