Courtesy photoLocal gig: Gina Yashere

Courtesy photoLocal gig: Gina Yashere

Comedian Gina Yashere showcases colorful British wit

Comedian Gina Yashere is constantly confusing Americans with her British accent.

“Most people don’t realize that there are black people in England,” says Yashere. “The general perception is that I’m Australian, that I’m Aborigine. And it’s not just white Americans; it’s black Americans too. It’s hard for them to compute it.”

Yashere — who is taping her performance Saturday at Brava Theater for a new DVD “Laughing to America” — now lives in Los Angeles, but grew up in London in a British-Nigerian family.

“People think that England is basically Hugh Grant and the queen,” Yashere quips in a stand-up bit. “But this accent comes in useful, people. For instance, I can tell Americans anything and they believe it.”

Yashere milks the authority for all it’s worth in her “Surly Psychic” routine, shouting at unsuspecting pedestrians in Los Angeles, insisting they get a free psychic reading. The act includes magic hats, tarot cards, Ouija boards and other paraphernalia, but the real humor is in Yashere’s quick wit and resolute delivery.

She firmly states that anyone named “Dwayne” is probably unemployed, informs a retired tourist couple that they will be robbed three times on their way to Mexico (and makes them recite a chant to keep the robbers away), and even gets a grown man to hand over his identification and a credit card — which she then plops on a scanner right under his nose — then predicts his identity will be stolen.

“People always ask me if it’s a setup, but no, these are real people,” Yashere says.

Yashere has appeared on late shows with Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno, as well as on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam” and NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” Her DVD of a previous stand-up show, “Skinny Bitch,” was acclaimed.

Even though she performs regularly in Los Angeles and visits New York comedy clubs every year, she made a special point to record her new act for DVD in San Francisco.

“San Francisco is a better audience,” Yashere says. “They’re real people and they want to laugh and have fun. In L.A. the audience is full of people who want to be comedians and actors. I don’t want people who are too busy looking for where the cameras are to get their good side on. I want the audience concentrating on me.”

IF YOU GO

Gina Yashere

Where: Brava Theater, 2781 24th St., S.F.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Tickets:
$18 to $20

Contact: (800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com; www.ginayashere.com

artsentertainmentGina YashereLaughing to America

Just Posted

Pharmacist Hank Chen is known for providing personalized service at Charlie’s Pharmacy in the Fillmore.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Left: A Walgreens at 300 Gough St. is among San Francisco stores closing.
Walgreens closures open the door for San Francisco’s neighborhood pharmacies

‘I think you’ll see more independents start to pop up’

San Franciscans are likely to have the opportunity to vote in four different elections in 2022. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Electionpalooza: SF school board recall will kick off a flurry of local races

‘It’s going to be a lot of elections and a lot of decisions for voters to make’

Four young politicos were elected to city government on the Peninsula in 2020. From left: Redwood City Councilmember Michael Smith; South San Francisco Councilmember James Coleman; Redwood City Councilmember Lissette Espinoza-Garnica; and East Palo Alto Councilmember Antonio Lopez.<ins> (Examiner illustration/Courtesy photos)</ins>
Progressive politicians rise to power on the Peninsula. Will redistricting reverse the trend?

‘There’s this wave of young people really trying to shake things up’

The Walgreens at 4645 Mission St. in The City is among those slated to close. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>
Walgreens says it’s closing five San Francisco stores due to crime. Where’s the data?

Walgreens should be transparent, enlighten San Francisco leaders about crime’s effect on business

Most Read