Idol Chatter

December 25 may be the day that all Christian boys and girls wait all year for, but for Jews, celebrating Christmas often takes a different approach, which often includes some or all of the following elements:

1) Stand-up comedy, featuring Jewish comedians from different backgrounds and billed as “kosher comedy”
2) Chinese food (not necessarily kosher);
3) Jewish singles events
4) Piggybacking on the family events of Christian friends
5) Drinking eggnog
6) Extending the “Christmas celebration” over several days (perhaps in an attempt to make the miracle of Christmas last for eight days instead of one).

In the case of San Francisco’s “Kung Pao“–one of the nation’s many Jewish comedy events around this holiday season–you can check off 1, 2, and 6 (two shows daily over four days… eight shows… coincidence?) And possibly #5, too. Kung Pao also features the comedy stylings of Dan Ahdoot, a first-generation Iranian (Persian) Jewish comic (interviewed here on

Ahdoot grew up in Great Neck, N.Y., which he (accurately) describes as a “hotbed” of Iranian Jewish activity and says that he “didn’t really know that I was very different until I went to college. That’s when I realized, ‘Weird! People haven’t met someone from a group that’s, like, .0001 percent of the population in America?'”

Ahdoot also shares his tips on how to deal with hecklers and what Jews should do on Christmas:

Do you ever get heckled?

Oh yeah. Of course.

How do you handle that?

I put the heckler back in his place. I mean, I don’t pull a Michael Richards, but I’ve done probably 10,000 comedy shows, and I’ve been hit with everything. So I know how to handle it.

Do you have any advice for Jews during the Christmas season?

Stay away from Mel Gibson.

Sound advice.

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