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JRelease: The 30th Anniversary of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy

November 30, 2022 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

The 30th Anniversary of
Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™
Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a (this year, pop-up) Chinese Restaurant

Info: • Tickets: 

                 Media contact: Lisa Geduldig - 
Cell: (415) 205-6515

The 30th Anniversary of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™
Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a (this year, pop-up) Chinese Restaurant

Kung Pao Kosher Comedy Returns In-Person in San Francisco (and livestream)!

With Mark Schiff, Cathy Ladman, Orion Levine, Arline Geduldig, & Lisa Geduldig

Friday, December 23 thru Sunday, December 25, 2022

In-person: 5pm Dinner / 6pm Show

Virtual Show: 6pm PST (7pm MST / 8pm CST / 9pm EST)

At the Kung Pao Room at Congregation Sherith Israel, 2266 California St., San Francisco

Catering by Green Chow Down (For in-person AND Bay Area virtual viewers)


Tickets: $30 - $100  •

Partial Proceeds Benefit: SF-Marin Food Bank AND The Center for Reproductive Rights

San Francisco, CA… Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ is celebrating its 30th Anniversary on  December 23-25, 2022! After being presented virtually for the past two years due to the pandemic, Kung Pao returns with in-person shows in San Francisco this year (AND continues its livestream option). Since the New Asia Restaurant where Kung Pao had been held since its 5th year (1997) closed during the pandemic, this year’s milestone shows will take place in a “pop-up” Chinese restaurant, "The Kung Pao Room" at Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco. Chinese food catering provided by Green Chow Down.

Spanning three days (and three decades), this annual Jewish-Comedy-on-Christmas-in-a-Chinese-Restaurant tradition will feature Mark Schiff (tours with Seinfeld; was a writer and actor on Mad About You), Cathy Ladman (The Tonight Show guest a gazillion times; Curb Your EnthusiasmModern Family; Mad Me), Orion Levine (recent Berkeley to LA transplant; just featured as a New Face at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Comedy Festival), Lisa Geduldig (Kung Pao host), Arline Geduldig (Lisa’s 91 year young mom by video from Florida).

Attendees sit at tables of 10 and eat dinner Chinese banquet style before the show. Table names include Alan King, Barbra Streisand, Catskills, Chutzpah, Fanny Brice, Gefilte Fish, Gilda Radner, Joan Rivers, Kasha Varnishkas, Kvetch, Marx Brothers, and Meshugganah.


Kung Pao Kosher Comedy was created in 1993 by accident by San Francisco comedian, Lisa Geduldig, who was booked to perform at a women’s comedy night in South Hadley, Massachusetts at the Peking Garden Club, what she naturally thought would be a comedy club. But upon her arrival, she discovered that the venue was actually a Chinese Restaurant. After telling Jewish jokes at a Chinese restaurant, a conversation the next day between Lisa and her old summer camp friend, Tobi Sovak, about its irony led to the creation of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy: Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant — a take off on the tradition of Jews going to a Chinese Restaurant and a movie on Christmas. And the rest is history. Kung Pao, which answers the age-old question “What are Jews supposed to do on Christmas?” has garnered both national press and a national following. In celebrating its 30th Anniversary this December, Kung Pao was the country’s first Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese restaurant show and is one of San Francisco’s longest running comedy shows.

Many of the great household name Jewish comedians have graced the Kung Pao stage. Henny Youngman performed his last show there in 1997 at 91 years old. Shelley Berman has headlined, as has David Brenner, as have many others in the Who’s Who of Jewish Comedians including Elayne Boosler, Carol Leifer, Wendy Liebman, Cathy Ladman, Judy Gold, Jeff Ross, and Gary Gulman.

Kung Pao has been operating in San Francisco’s Chinatown every December since its inception in 1993 (except for the past two years online due to the pandemic). The event began on December 24, 1993 with one show at the Four Seas Restaurant, and then was held for the next three years at Hunan Restaurant. With 91-year old Henny Youngman booked to headline in 1997, Kung Pao moved to New Asia Restaurant as Hunan was up a flight of stairs with no elevator. Many audience members have attended this San Francisco institution for 20+ years while others have attended every year since 1993. The show was live-streamed on Zoom and YouTube Live the past two years catering to 2000+ people and reaching audiences throughout the country and some internationally during the pandemic.

Kung Pao has been featured in the NY Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune… The virtual show was a Pick in the New York TimesThe Forward, and Jewish newspapers in cities including Atlanta, Tampa and St. Louis, in addition to the SF Bay Area press.

Feeding the soul as well as the stomach. – New York Times

A San Francisco institution. – San Francisco Examiner

The Dinner Menu will feature our signature dish Kung Pao Chicken (or Tofu), along with Steamed Cod with Black Bean and Ginger Sauce, Chinese Green Beans with Mushrooms and Onions, Sautéed Eggplant with Red Bell Pepper and Garlic, and Steamed Jasmine Rice. Catering is being provided this year by Green Chow Down, headed up by chef Angela Chou. (Green Chow Down provides catering for local companies including Google, private events, weddings, fundraisers, and bar/bat mitzvahs.) Virtual Kung Pao viewers in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond may order the same menu through Chou’s ChowBox In-person attendees and virtual viewers who order the dinner will receive a custom-made Yiddish proverb fortune cookie with their dinner. Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco's Chinatown has made fortune cookies since 1962 and Kung Pao’s since 1994. The Yiddish proverbs include the infamous “With one tuchus, you can’t dance at 2 weddings.” (You can’t be in two places at once.) The past two years, the fortune cookies were only virtual (motion graphics).

All in-person attendees will receive Kung Pao swag (a goodie bag) with their ticket: A pair of wooden custom-printed Kung Pao chopsticks custom-ordered from China, a packet of Yiddish-proverb fortune cookies, and more.

In July 2020, a few months into the pandemic, Lisa Geduldig, introduced her audiences to online comedy shows with the monthly Lockdown Comedy every third Thursday of the month (and still running) on Zoom hosted from her mother’s retirement community in Florida where Lisa accidentally found herself marooned for 17 months after going to visit for two weeks that March, just before the pandemic hit. (Lisa has been “commuting” between Florida and San Francisco for the past year.) Lisa’s 91-year old budding comedian mother, Arline, has been a special guest each month, performing on the show. The duo has received national press: The LA Times ran How A California Comic Launched A Virtual Stand-Up Show and Discovered A New Star: Mom; the San Francisco Examiner ran the article, Kung Pao Kosher Creator Introduces “Lockdown Comedy”: Lisa Geduldig and Her Mom Stream Standup, with Guests, from Florida, and in September, the San Francisco Chronicle did a feature S.F.’s Lisa Geduldig Happily Sharing Comedy Spotlight with A Fresh Talent, Her 90-Year-Old Mother.


Mark Schiff is a stand up comedian who has headlined at comedy clubs nationwide, including all the major casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, and has toured worldwide with Jerry Seinfeld for fifteen years. Mark has specials on HBO and Showtime, has appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" and "Late Night with David Letterman," is featured in Seinfeld’s Netflix special "Jerry Before Seinfeld" and "Live from the Laugh Factory with Dom Irrera," has been a writer and actor on "Mad About You," and has been the featured act at the Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. He co-edited "I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America’s Top Comics” with Ritch Shydner, is the playwright of "Married People," co-written with Steve Shaffer, which played to sold-out audiences in Los Angeles in 2019, and “The Comic,” which ran in Los Angeles for ten months as well as at the Aspen Comedy Festival, a regular contributor to LA’s Jewish Journal, and the host of the podcast "You Don’t Know Schiff." Mark lives in Los Angeles with his first wife, his fifth dog, and photos of his three sons who have all moved out and have good jobs, yet still manage to call and ask for money. His new book "Why Not? Lessons on Comedy, Courage, and Chutzpah" is available on Amazon.

Cathy Ladman is one of the country's top comedians. Her show is a self-probing vehicle which draws laughter from exposing personal neuroses. Cathy has not only appeared on "The Tonight Show" nine times but was also the only female comic to appear on the last two of Johnny Carson’s "Tonight Show Anniversary" shows. She has made four appearances thus far on "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson," did her own HBO "One Night Stand" comedy special, and was awarded the American Comedy Award for Best Female Stand Up Comic. A native New Yorker, now living in Los Angeles, Cathy is an acclaimed TV and film actor. Her film credits include "Charlie Wilson’s War," "The Aristocrats," and "White Oleander." Her TV appearances include "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Modern Family," and "Mad Men." She also appeared regularly on "Politically Incorrect" and Comedy Central's "Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist." Besides writing her stand up act and original scripted projects, Cathy was on the writing staffs of "The Caroline Rhea Show" (2002), "Caroline in the City" (different Caroline altogether – 1997), and "Roseanne" (1996). She also wrote an episode of "King of Queens" and other sitcoms. Cathy's comedy focuses on family, growing up, relationships, and real life from a very personal perspective. The Los Angeles Times put it best: "... Ladman has such clever, well-written material and such a breezy, unassuming delivery that it would be easy to overlook just how good she is: Her act seems effortless."

Orion Levine is a stand up comedian and actor from the Bay Area, currently based in Los Angeles in a room with unfortunate carpeting. Orion was named a New Face at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival (Montreal) in 2022 and a finalist at the San Francisco International Comedy Competition in 2021. Now he performs all over the country. He created and stars in the popular comedy web series titled Scorp Oner, an ongoing graffiti mockumentary based on his own experiences as an aspiring graffiti writer.

Arline Geduldig (joining by video message from Florida), 91 year young mother of Kung Pao producer, Lisa Geduldig, is a Florida-based budding comedian who took to the (virtual) stage for the first time in July 2020 on her daughter’s monthly Zoom comedy show, Lockdown Comedy; she has been charming audiences on the monthly show ever since. Arline grew up in Brooklyn, raised her kids on Long Island, and retired to Florida, as is Jewish law. She offers her keen observations on aging, hearing aids, and hot young firemen and reminisces about her first kiss. Arline has always been funny, and it was time for her to share her natural humor with her daughter’s audiences. 

Lisa Geduldig is a San Francisco-based comedian and the creator, producer, and MC of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ — Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant. Before the pandemic, Lisa had been running Comedy Returns to El Rio, a monthly decade-long comedy show at El Rio in San Francisco where her comedy career began 30+ years ago. Since July 2020, she has been producing Lockdown Comedy every 3rd Thursday of the month on Zoom from the underwear drawer in the guest room at her mother’s retirement community home in Florida, where she accidentally got marooned (in Florida, not in the underwear drawer) for 17 months during the pandemic (and became a fan of the Early Bird special). She has been commuting between Florida and San Francisco for the past year or so. Lisa appeared in a Canadian documentary, Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas, which aired on Canadian and European TV in December 2017. She is also a freelance arts publicist in both English and Spanish.


Over the past 29 years, Kung Pao has raised 10’s of 1000’s of dollars and awareness for countless organizations. In keeping with the Jewish tradition of tzedakah (charity, in Hebrew - tied in with a sense of duty and social responsibility), each year Kung Pao donates partial proceeds to organizations and causes in which we believe.


San Francisco-Marin Food Bank’s mission is to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin. Before the pandemic, one in five neighbors was at risk of hunger, the pandemic upended thousands of people’s lives and livelihoods forcing more people than ever before to wonder where their next meal would come from. While we see our community slowly recovering, there is no vaccine for hunger. It will take time for those most impacted by the crisis to get back on their feet. The Food Bank continues to serve more than 50,000 households, compared to 32,000 pre-pandemic, and traffic to the find food page on our website is still up four times what it was pre-pandemic. We’ve met this need so far with the help of community partners, volunteers and other supporters. After more than a year responding to the pandemic, we are focused on returning to solutions that work and continuing to implement services developed during the crisis. It will take a collective effort to ensure we can continue to feed our neighbors facing hunger.

The Center for Reproductive Rights is a global human rights organization of lawyers and advocates who ensure reproductive rights are protected in law as fundamental human rights for the dignity, equality, health, and well-being of every person. Since its founding in 1992, the Center’s game-changing litigation, legal policy, and advocacy work—combined with unparalleled expertise in constitutional, international, and comparative human rights law—has transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts, governments, and human rights bodies. Through their work across five continents, they have played a critical role in securing legal victories before national courts, United Nations Committees, and regional human rights bodies on reproductive rights issues including access to life-saving obstetrics care, contraception, maternal health, and safe abortion services, as well as the prevention of forced sterilization and child marriage.

Some Random Kung Pao Kosher Comedy Facts:

• Henny Youngman, The King of One-Liners, headlined in 1997, performing at what ended up being his last show; the 91 year old comedian died two months later in February 1998.
• A chapter in the book, A Kosher Christmas: 'Tis the Season to be Jewish focuses on Kung Pao.
• One couple, after 25 years, got married at the show by a rabbi they met at their table.
• One year someone brought a rooster named Vern as an emotional support animal. Really. 

Calendar Listing:

WHAT: The 30th Anniversary of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™
Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a (pop-up) Chinese Restaurant

With Mark Schiff, Cathy Ladman, Orion Levine, Arline Geduldig (by video), and Lisa Geduldig

WHEN: Friday, December 23, Saturday, December 24, and Sunday, December 25
In-person: Dinner: 5pm. Show: 6pm.
Show (in-person and Livestream): 6pm PST /7pm MST / 8pm CST / 9pm EST

WHERE: In-person:
The Kung Pao Room
Congregation Sherith Israel
2266 California St. @ Webster
San Francisco, CA 94115

AND Virtually (on YouTube Live)

TICKETS: $30-$100 •


San Francisco-Marin Food Bank AND The Center for Reproductive Rights

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