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Standup comic Alex Edelman takes on big TV writing job

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Alex Edelman has been doing standup comedy since he was 15. (Courtesy Will Bremridge)
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For Alex Edelman, performing at this weekend’s Kung Pao Kosher Comedy in The City won’t be too much of a stretch.

“I’ll do shows anywhere — in a laundromat, on boats,” says the standup comic, an East Coaster who recently moved to Southern California.

Not too long ago, he played the Palace, a Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles.

Growing up kosher (he’s never eaten bacon), he’s also familiar with Jewish audiences, making his appearances at the 24th annual “Jewish-comics-in-a-Chinese-restaurant-on-Christmas” show something right up his alley. (Along with Edelman, this year’s lineup at New Asia restaurant in Chinatown includes headliner Elayne Boosler, Eddie Sarfaty and creator-host Lisa Geduldig.)

What is new for Edelman these days is full-time employment and a permanent residence.

“This is the first job I’ve had where I’ve needed to be in one place. It’s been five or six months — such a jolt,” says Edelman, who recently joined the writing staff of the CBS sitcom “The Great Indoors.”

“I love it. I get to work with 12 of the funniest people ever,” he says.

He’s enjoying the “privilege” of having such a good gig and is thankful that his colleagues are “looking out” for him as he embarks on his first professional writing job. He also enjoys tooling around the studio lot in a golf cart.

He’s more used to traveling the world, doing standup in places with as few as a dozen in the audience to arenas that seat 18,000.

He’s had big success, twice, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, where his hour-long show “Millennial,” with jokes about his peer group, won a best newcomer award in 2014.

Edelman, 27, says he’s loved comedy since he was 11 or 12.

His first performance, at 15, was at a pizza place in Boston, where he grew up.

“I was very bad,” he says.

It didn’t deter him. After graduating from New York University, he ended up keeping New York as a home base while he hit the road, bringing his act to London, Australia, Sweden and Montreal.

“It ended up working out, thank God,” he says, intimating there’s really no other work he’d want to do.

“I’ve always felt a little different — every comedian does,” he continues.

Well aware of others who ply the trade, Edelman quickly mentions Norm Macdonald, Gary Gulman, Patton Oswalt and Arj Barker as comics he admires, adding, “Garry Shandling was my favorite.”


IF YOU GO

Kung Pao Kosher Comedy
With Elayne Boosler, Eddie Sarfaty, Alex Edelman, Lisa Geduldig
Where: New Asia Restaurant, 772 Pacific Ave., S.F.
When: 5 and 8:30 p.m. Dec. 23-25
Tickets: $49 to $69
Contact: (925) 743-1282, www.koshercomedy.com

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