SF Sketchfest brings together amazing comics in from all over the U.S., but the best news is we also get a couple of locally-grown superstars this weekend at the Punch Line when Brent Weinbach and Moshe Kasher take the stage (Thursday 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. joined by comedian Josh Fadem). Both Weinbach and Kasher got their start in the Bay Area and have since become award-winning comics whose careers have reached critical tipping-points. We were lucky enough to grab these two for Q & As about their funny profession. Below is Kasher's interview.
Kasher has performed on Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, and at The Montreal "Just For Laughs" festival, Jamie Foxx's Laffapalooza, and Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival (where he won Best of Fest). Most recently, Kasher's album Everyone You Know is Going to Die, and Then You Are was one of the top 20 comedy albums of 2009 on iTunes.
How did you get your start in comedy?
I'm from Oakland and I started doing comedy around 2001. I moved to L.A. about a year and a half ago, but I was a Bay Area comedian up until I moved down here. It was great starting in San Francisco. I really think it's is the best place to start in the country. The expectation of quality is high, and you can't get away with crap because there are great comedians. There's great comedy history, and great comedy clubs. You'll sink or swim on a higher level of expectation.
The Punch Line is one of the best clubs in the world. It's an intimidating place if you're a younger comic, but the community is so lucky to have a place with such a high threshold and standard. When you jump through all the hoops and figure out how to get work at the Punch Line and Cobb's, then by the time you travel to L.A. and New York you're not scared. Now you have the chops to get noticed. If you start in L.A., you'll get noticed, but you won't be as good. Plus, the Bay Area is the best place on earth.
Did you have a day job?
I did have a day job. I was a sign language interpreter from when I was 17, but I don't do that anymore. Both of my parents were deaf. I grew up in a deaf household. I don't do any jokes about it really, but yeah that was my day job.