Local Jewish lesbian comic Lisa Geduldig formulated the unlikely idea of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy in 1993 after being unwittingly booked to perform at a Chinese restaurant in Northampton, Mass. Since then, KPKC has grown from a four-show Christmas Eve and Day shelter for the holiday fatigued to an eight-show extravaganza. Alongside some of the best of the younger generation's top yuk-masters, featured performers have included late one-liner king Henny Youngman and Catskills vet Freddy Roman. Each evening offers an early seven-course non-kosher dinner show (complete with a Yiddish joke inside a fortune cookie) and a later nonalcoholic-cocktail-and-egg-roll show.
And what a show it is: Besides ever-sharp MC Geduldig, this year's talent roster features sought-after stand-up comic and writer Judy Gold, star of her own HBO special, At the Multiplex With Judy Gold; Bruce Smirnoff, who has opened for such musicians as Julio Iglesias and Kenny Loggins (we like him anyway) and held down a one-man show, Other Than My Health, I Have Nothing ... and Today I Don't Feel So Good; and Ed Crasnick, who won an Emmy writing for Win Ben Stein's Money. And as she's done in her mensch-y way from the beginning, Geduldig has found another couple of causes for the event to benefit (partial proceeds go to the Familial Dysautonomia Hope Foundation, helping those with a neurological disorder that disproportionately affects Jews, and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgendered Family Assistance Project at Jewish Family and Children's Services).
Now, in case you're one of those schlemiels who've waited until today to score tickets to this shindig, do yourself a favor and get on it -- you've already missed out on the booked-solid dinner shows for Christmas Eve and Day. And that's the kind of poor planning that'll ensure we'll never control the world.