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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

With COBO's closing, the Bay Area bids farewell to a comedy favorite

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Joe Gleckler
  • Joe Gleckler

One of the East Bay's favorite comedy shows, Comedy Off Broadway Oakland, produces its final show June 30. Bay Area comedy fans received the sad news on Sunday from COBO co-producer Joe Gleckler, via a Facebook message in which he says "Comedy is the only thing I have ever wanted to do. I will run a show again in the future."

click to enlarge Joe Gleckler
  • Joe Gleckler

After booking over 2,700 spots of stage time to Bay Area comedians, COBO is shutting down. Co-producer Samson Koletkar tells us, "The numbers and logistics are not adding up for Miss Pearl's [Jam House]," the Jack London Square restaurant who has hosted the production for over three years.

Gleckler adds, "Samson and I have done everything possible to keep it going, but in the end it was the restaurant's decision to terminate."

The show will be thoroughly missed. Koletkar and Gleckler offered both a stellar space to showcase local comics and a quality show for an often sold-out crowd of Oakland tourists and locals alike. After so much time and energy, the producers will miss the space as well. "Seeing some of our regulars at the shows, sometimes with their friends and families, was very reassuring and rewarding," Koletkar explains.

click to enlarge Samson Koletkar
  • Samson Koletkar
The Bay Area's resident Indian Jewish comedian will continue to produce and perform with his monthly show, The Minorities Standup, as well as performing for other shows in the Bay Area. "As a producer," he said, "I have some ideas floating in my head. But first, a little break after 3.2 years, 450+ shows, and all the logistics behind running a show."

"We're both very tired!" admits Gleckler. "After three years, I think we're both going to take a break from running shows. It's basically a full-time job! However, we will both continue to perform regularly." He assures us, "I will run shows again, I am just not sure where or when yet. But one thing's for sure: Like COBO, it will be a great show!"

click to enlarge cobo_logo_orange.png

Here's Gleckler's official Facebook message in its entirety:
"In August of 2003, my wife and I moved to San Francisco from Fukuoka, Japan. I was ecstatic. For years, I had dreamed of doing stand-up comedy. I got my first taste in college in the early 90's. But, in search of a way to make a living, I embarked on a 7-year stint teaching English in Asia, where I met Akiko, the love of my life, who has given me the courage and support I need to pursue my dream.

For the first time ever, I had that chance. So I started to run shows. Including, among others, Java on Ocean for two years and Comedy Off Broadway Oakland, which I have run with my co-producer Samson Koletkar for three years. Unfortunately, that show is now coming to an end. June 30th will be our last show. I will be in Japan the last week of June, so if you'd like to see me at COBO, June 23rd will be your last chance.

I would like to say thanks to the Waterfront Hotel/Miss Pearl's Jam House for being our gracious hosts for the past three years. We could not have had such great shows without them.

I also want to thank all of the comedians I've worked with since I started doing comedy. I have always tried my best to be friendly, fair and accommodating to everyone. Please understand that running a show is incredibly hard work, and I can not always make everyone happy. I may not have booked you, but that doesn't mean I won't. Comedy is the only thing I have ever wanted to do. I will run a show again in the future. And it will be good.

Never give up on your dreams!"

All images courtesy of Comedy Off Broadway Oakland.

Awkward Silence is a weekly column covering local stand-up comedy in San Francisco.

Follow Dana Sitar on Twitter at @danasitarSF Weekly's Exhibitionist blog at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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