Kung Pao Kosher creator introduces ‘Lockdown Comedy’

Lisa Geduldig and her mom stream standup, with guests, from Florida

Comic Lisa Geduldig isn’t producing her new pandemic-era internet “Lockdown Comedy” event from her San Francisco home.

It’s coming from Boynton Beach, Fla., where she’s been living for five months with her 89-year-old mother Arline, who will appear in the second installment, on Aug. 20, of the third-Thursday-of-the-month series.

“I asked my mom one day if she wanted to be a special guest, just because she is very funny. It was something I had never imagined, but since I’m living with her, and she makes me laugh, I thought, ‘Hey, I can do anything I want with this show, right?’” says Lisa, creator of San Francisco’s annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy, in which Jewish comics perform in a Chinese restaurant on Christmas.

After debuting in the July “Lockdown” with a solid bit about sexy firemen and being banned by the Costco hearing aid department, Arline is pleased to be doing standup for an online audience: “I think it’s a lot of fun. It brings happiness to me and I’m enjoying it immensely,” she says, calling herself the new kid on the block.

For Thursday’s show, at 7 p.m., Arline will be joined by her offspring Lisa; Kung Pao veteran Cathy Ladman, from Los Angeles; Michele Balan from New York; and Joe Klocek from San Francisco.

Lisa — who says she “flew to Florida on March 3 for two weeks, then life changed” — at first was perplexed by the idea of doing comedy in front of a computer screen. But she was surprised by how good she felt after appearing online in Rossmoor’s Pride show and with Comedy Oakland. She says, “It was strange, that it seemed so normal – especially since I’m standing in my mother’s home in Florida.”

It made Lisa want to return to producing comedy, and she did. The first “Lockdown,” with the theme “Across the Pond,” offered London comics Shazia Mirza, Tanyalee Davis and Mark Maier – performing at 2 in the morning their time – along with the Geduldigs. With Sandy Opatow (one-half of the folk music duo Emma’s Revolution) providing vital technical assistance, the show went off well, drawing nearly 200 viewers, including folks in Berlin and Kathmandu.

In Florida, Lisa and her mom, while they’re not busy playing Rummikub, continue to develop their sets, compiling jokes in notebooks.

Arline, who’s focusing her material on good, funny things, not the pandemic, has a penchant for animals, too. Spending time checking out videos of monkeys on her iPad, she says, “I like puppies and kittens and things, but I don’t like iguanas. We have a lot of iguanas in Florida,” adding, “I watch monkeys. I also love monkeys.”

Meanwhile, Lisa is working on the December 2020 Zoom edition of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy, with plans to announce the lineup in September.

As she tries to figure out how to translate the fun restaurant experience of sharing food, opening fortune cookies and sitting at a table with family and friends to something that would register in a virtual event, she’s also excited to be doing less hard labor: “It’s great, I just have to roll out of bed. And I don’t have to schlep all the stuff.”

Tickets ($10-$20) for “Lockdown Comedy” at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 (10 p.m. Eastern Time) are at lockdowncomedyaugust20.eventbrite.com; a Zoom link will be sent 48 hours before the show. For more information, visit Lockdown Comedy — Kung Pao Kosher.


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