Kung Pao Comedy
Six miles and a world away from the comedy clubs of Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, L.A.’s next great stand-up scene grows in a cramped attic above a Chinese restaurant.
Comedian Dana Gould has spent thirty years in comedy, won two Emmy Awards for writing The Simpsons and played “The Summer George” on Seinfeld. Yet on a chilly Thursday night in December, Gould is in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, wearing an oversized coat and more than a couple days of stubble, standing in front of a red velvet curtain in the attic of The Palace, a Chinese restaurant.
Dishes clank downstairs as the restaurant staff attends to the few tables still finishing their soup dumplings and kung pao chicken. The crowd upstairs is a little younger, a bit more hipster than the patrons below. Many sip cheap beer out of bottles. One guy in the corner eats a pile of lo mein out of a Styrofoam take-out container.
A phone rings downstairs. “Who would call a Chinese restaurant?” Gould asks sarcastically, continuing his set.
“I actually started my stand-up career in a Chinese restaurant,” he tells the crowd, “which shows how little I’ve progressed as a co…