The Comedy Tour That Goes On and Naan


Samson Koletkar (rear), Joe Nguyen and Dhaya Lakshminarayanan.

Quiz time: Which of these descriptors do not belong with the others? Indian. Vietnamese. Jewish. Stand-up comic? Your answer: None of the above. At least, that’s the case with the Mahatma Moses Comedy tour, which will be making its first foray into Southern California after selling out shows in the San Francisco Bay area.

The tour is the brainchild of Samson Koletkar, “the world’s only Indian-Jewish stand-up comedian.” His tour-mates are Joe Nguyen, a Vietnamese Jew born in Georgia, and Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, a petite “venture capitalist turned stand-up comedienne,” whose last name just took me five minutes to type correctly.

Koletkar arrived in the United States in 2000 with the dot-com boom, and while he toiled as a software consultant, his long-held dreams of becoming a stand-up comic flowered.

“There was no stand-up comedy in India when I was growing up,” he says, “but my family was always very funny. I enjoyed writing plays, and I always found a way to make them funny.”

Koletkar started working open-mic nights and traditional comedy clubs around the Bay Area in 2006. Finding that there wasn’t a niche for the kind of mixed-ethnicity, clean humor he preferred was the inspiration for putting his own tour together. “People never know what they’re going to have to listen to in typical comedy clubs. That’s why we take what we like to call the smarter approach to comedy. The result is a show that appeals to all ages, and all varieties of people.”

The “Mahatma Moses Comedy Tour” will appear at Forum Theatre at El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, California 91601 on Saturday, September 4 at 5:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Recommended for ages 18+. Tickets are $12-$20. Information and reservations are available at or by calling 415-676-1371.

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