Comedian Elayne Boosler cracks ‘Kung Pao’

Courtesy photoIn her inaugural appearance in the show

Courtesy photoIn her inaugural appearance in the show

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/

artsentertainmentLisa GeduldigOther ArtsSan Francisco

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to announced changes to statewide COVID-19 restrictions Monday. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/TNS)
Gov. Newsom expected to cancel California’s regional coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Change in rules could allow outdoor dining to resume in San Francisco

A statue of Florence Nightingale outside the Laguna Honda Hospital is one of only two statues of women in The City. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
S.F. still falling short of goal to represent women in public art

City has few streets or public facilities not named after men

Methamphetamines (Sophia Valdes/SF Weekly)
New search launched for meth sobering center site

Pandemic put project on pause but gave health officials time to plan a better facility

Hasti Jafari Jozani quarantines at her brother's San Francisco home after obtaining several clearances to study at San Francisco State University. (Photo courtesy Siavash Jafari Jozani)
Sanctions, visas, and the pandemic: One Iranian student’s bumpy path to SF State

Changing immigration rules and travel restrictions leave some overseas students in limbo

Woody LaBounty, left, and David Gallagher started the Western Neighborhoods Project which has a Balboa Street office housing historical items and comprehensive website dedicated to the history of The City’s West side. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Outside Lands podcast delves into West side’s quirky past

History buffs Woody LaBounty and David Gallagher have been sharing fun stories about the Richmond and Sunset since 1998

Most Read