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A Laughing Matter

Okay, so a Muslim, a Mormon and a Jew walk into a bar….

No, really — they do. And you’ll have to be in Northern California this September to hear the punch line.

San Francisco standup comedian and producer Lisa Geduldig — a Long Island native already renowned for her Kung Pao Kosher Comedy, a Christmastime comedy show served up with a healthy helping of chow fun — says she’s hearing good early reactions to her upcoming show, “A Muslim, a Mormon, and a Jew Walk Into a Bar: The Comedy of Religion.”

The idea was born as she watched Bengt Washburn, who gave up Mormonism in Utah for standup in San Francisco, do his shtick at a comedy show in Marin County. “I loved the uniqueness of someone who has done proselytizing, who has done door-knocking, who now is doing comedy about it,” Geduldig told The Shmooze.

But just a Jew and a Mormon wouldn’t be enough, she realized. “I’m trying to show a variety of backgrounds and points of view,” she said.

So Geduldig dialed up Shazia Mirza, a London-based Muslim who made her first U.S. appearance in 2003 as part of Geduldig’s “Funny Girlz” annual smorgasbord of comedians.

With three faiths represented, Geduldig booked the show September 9 in Berkeley, September 10 in San Rafael and September 11 in San Francisco. The final show’s scheduling on so notorious a date — also, two days before the start of Rosh Hashanah and Ramadan — “wasn’t 100% intentional, but there was some intent there,” she said; after all, comedy about religion is bound to be edgy.

Each comic will do his or her act, and then all three will take to the stage together to chat about religion, myths, stereotypes and whatever else seems funny at the time.

“I’m sitting here pounding out some ideas to send to the others, stereotypes and aspects of our culture that are similar and different, and how to make it all funny,” Geduldig said. “It’s going to be good. I can’t wait to see it.”

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