Exploring the 'Bizarro' world

The “Bizarro” cartoonist, Dan Piraro, came to San Francisco on Wednesday to perform his critically acclaimed multimedia comedy show. All proceeds went to Pets are Wonderful Support and Born Free USA.

What is the Bizarro Comedy Show? I do songs, I do puppets, I show videos and I read hate mail.

How does the hate mail go over with the audience? It’s the most popular part of the show. Some golden fool with a typewriter or an e-mail account will write me some cockamamie message about a cartoon they didn’t understand and I read it at my show. People roll in the aisles about the kinds of things people get upset about.

What made you become a vegan? I met a woman who I subsequently married and she had been a vegan since she was very young, and an animal-rights activist. With her, I visited a farm-animal sanctuary. Something in my heart changed that day, like the Grinch when he stood on the mountain and heard the Whos singing in Whoville.

What’s the most challenging part of creating your daily “Bizarro” cartoons? A syndicated cartoonist has to come up with 365 original ideas every year.

Did you always know you wanted to be a cartoonist? As soon as I could hold a crayon, I’ve been drawing. As an adult, I dabbled in advertising, fine art. In my mid-20s, I got the idea to be a cartoonist and I happened to hit the right editor on the right day.

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