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JRelease: The 31st Annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy, In-Person in San Francisco (AND livestreamed), Dec. 23-25, 2023

November 30, 2023 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

The 31st Annual
Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™

Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant


Press Room (hi res photos):

For Immediate Release

Media contact: Lisa Geduldig
Cell: 415-205-6515
Do Not Publish

The 31st Annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™
Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant

In-Person in San Francisco (AND livestreamed)!

With Wendy Liebman, Rich Aronovitch, Talia Reese, Lisa Geduldig, and her 92-year young mother Arline Geduldig (by video by Florida)

Saturday, December 23 thru Monday, December 25, 2023

Two shows a day:

5pm Dinner Show (5-6pm Dinner / 6-7:30pm Show)
Live-stream: 6pm PST (7pm MST / 8pm CST / 9pm EST)
8:30pm Cocktail Show
Live-stream: 8:30pm PST (9:30pm MST / 10:30pm CST / 11:30pm EST)

Imperial Palace Restaurant, 818 Washington St., San Francisco’s Chinatown

Tickets: $30 - $100  •

Partial Proceeds Benefit: Hebrew Free Loan AND Chinatown YMCA Food Pantry

San Francisco, CA… Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ is celebrating its 31st Annual Jewish-Comedy-on-Christmas-in-a-Chinese-Restaurant extravaganza on December 23-25, 2023. This San Francisco institution returns to San Francisco’s Chinatown this year to its new home, the Imperial Palace Restaurant, just steps away from the new Chinatown-Rose Pak MUNI Station. (New Asia Restaurant, where Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ had taken place since 1997, its 5th year, closed during the pandemic and converted into a supermarket. The shows were live-streamed in 2020 and 2021 and took place in a synagogue as well as virtually last year for its 30th Anniversary.)

Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ returns to its pre-pandemic format over the course of 3 days, with 2 shows a day in a Chinese restaurant banquet room with family-style dining at tables of 10 (appropriately named Barbra Streisand, Jackie Mason, Joan Rivers, Kvetch…) with Lazy Susans. All 6 shows will take place in-person AND virtually (on YouTube Live) again this year, thus catering to the national and international online audiences developed since 2020 as well as to those who prefer to watch from home.

Spanning three days (and three decades), this year’s shows feature Wendy Liebman (Carson, Letterman, Leno, Fallon, Kimmel, Hollywood Squares, America's Got Talent), Rich Aronovitch (The Tonight Show, The Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay), Talia Reese (The Wendy Williams Show; Orthodox comedian; former bankruptcy lawyer), Lisa Geduldig (Kung Pao host), and Arline Geduldig (Lisa’s 92 year young mom, by video from Florida).


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. Now in its 31st year, 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 had been operating in San Francisco’s Chinatown every December since its inception in 1993 until the pandemic hit in 2020. The show managed to continue virtually despite Armageddon. Kung Pao 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.

Kung Pao has been featured in the NY Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune… The virtual show was a Pick in the New York Times, The 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 Show Menu will feature our signature dish, Kung Pao Chicken, along with 5 other dishes. The Cocktail Show menu consists of a light fare of egg rolls, pot stickers, and dim sum. In-person attendees will receive a custom-made Yiddish proverb fortune cookie with their dinner. Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco Chinatown’s has made Kung Pao’s 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.)

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 ending on the monthly basis in November 2023 after 3-1/2 years) 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 two years.) Lisa’s 92-year old budding comedian mother, Arline, has been a special guest on Lockdown Comedy and Kung Pao, performing stand up on the show. The duo has received accolades and 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.


Wendy Liebman took a class called "How to be a Stand-up Comedian" at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education in 1985. Since then, she has performed on Carson, Letterman, Leno, Fallon, Kimmel, Ferguson, and Hollywood Squares, and in clubs across America. Wendy has done specials for HBO, Comedy Central and Showtime, and was a Semi-Finalist on NBC’s America's Got Talent, Season 9.  She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two rescued Jindo dogs, produces “Locally Grown Comedy” at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank — a monthly show featuring her favorite stand ups, and plays Jonathan Katz’s therapist on his podcast And We’re Back…  Check out her DVD Wendy Liebman: Taller on TV on Amazon.

Rich Aronovitch, known for appearances on NBC’s The Tonight Show, The Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay, and HBO's Bomani Jones, is a regular at New York City's Comedy Cellar and Gotham Comedy Club. He gained social media fame for his dances, which led to features on NBC's Access Daily and a Tiesto music video, performing with Limp Bizkit at Madison Square Garden, and for the New York Islanders. Recently, he featured on TNT's March Madness Sweet Sixteen Pre-Game Promo and The Food Network’s Worst Cooks In America Season 25 Viral Sensations.

Talia Reese ditched the exciting world of bankruptcy law to pursue a more stable path as a stand up comedian, which thrilled her parents to no end. Luckily, her career move has worked out. She been featured on The Wendy Williams Show and Sirius XM and regularly performs at the hottest comedy clubs and events in the US and Canada, and recently performed in Israel. The Orthodox comedian’s jokes have appeared in major news publications and are mentioned frequently on Page Six. The Times of Israel says Talia’s “a rising comedy star who has a polish, panache, and a gift of jab reminiscent of her childhood hero, Joan Rivers.” Her parents were most proud when Talia’s comedy show was called a “Hot Ticket” by the NY Post.

Arline Geduldig (joining by video from Florida), 92 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 two years. 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 30 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.


Hebrew Free Loan is a nonprofit that provides interest-free loans to help Jewish individuals in Northern California overcome financial challenges or pursue life dreams. In addition, it offer loans to those in Northern California who meet one of the following criteria, regardless of religious background: Student from a lower income home who is referred by a partner agency; employee of a Jewish organization; business partner or immediate family member of a Jewish individual. As loans are repaid, funds are recycled to make new loans. The organization has proven the success of this model with a repayment rate over 99%.

Chinatown YMCA Food Pantry: The Chinatown YMCA serves 245 households from the Chinatown area every week through the support of staff and volunteers. The food pantries directly address food insecurity in our community where there is a rising concern. Many of those who reside in our neighborhood experience significant obstacles due to language barriers, knowledge of social services as well as uncertainty of the receipt of these supports will affect their immigration status. With the added complication of the corona virus and an increase of people experiencing uncertainty in income, housing, and health, providing food will address at least one major concern. The food provided by the food pantries support the overall well-being of the individuals receiving it. Enrollment is not based on income, immigration status, or employment.

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:

The 31st Annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™
Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant

With Wendy Liebman, Rich Aronovitch, Talia Reese, Lisa Geduldig, and her 92-year young mother Arline Geduldig (by video by Florida)

Saturday, December 23, Sunday, December 24, and Monday, December 25

2 shows a day:
In-person Dinner Show: Dinner: 5pm.
(Show: 6-7:30pm)

Show (in-person and Livestream): 6pm PST /7pm MST / 8pm CST / 9pm EST

Cocktail Show
In-person and Livestream: 8:30pm PST (9:30pm MST / 10:30pm CST / 11:30pm EST)

Imperial Palace Restaurant
818 Washington St. (between Grant & Stockton)
San Francisco, CA 94108

Virtually (on YouTube Live)


6pm or 8:30pm Livestream: $30-$75 (pay what you want)
5pm Dinner Show: $90-$100
8:30pm Cocktail Show: $65-$75


Hebrew Free Loan Association AND Chinatown YMCA Food Pantry

Disclaimer: JRelease is a press release service of AJPA. AJPA does not endorse and cannot vouch for material distributed by this service.

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