Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
Arthur Gaus grew up on a famous block in The City.
In Part 1, the native San Francisco comedian traces his story back to his parents' choice to buy a house on Ashbury just off Haight Street in the late-'70s. Arthur shares stories of growing up in his family's Victorian and hanging out on Haight Street, in Golden Gate Park (despite how dangerous everyone said it was back then), and in his backyard.
His grade school was near the gate to Chinatown, a neighborhood he and his friends spent a lot of time exploring.
Arthur talks about his high school years and ends the podcast with a funny story about being one of the the only boys in a play at a girls' school.
Arthur came of age in the Golden Era of comedy in San Francisco.
In Part 2, he sets the stage for his beginnings doing stand-up by describing the comedy scene in The City in the 1980s. He rattles off a list of funny folks who got their starts here—Will Durst, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Greg Proops—and talks about comedy venues in San Francisco, some of which still exist today.
Arthur got started at open-mic nights around town and in Santa Cruz, where he ended up going to college. He got his SF break at Cobb's, but he extols the virtues of The Punchline, especially Sunday nights, where, in the before-times, the club features up to 10 local comedians.
He tells us about his comedy album, Nice Jokes for Smart People, which you can find on Spotify, Pandora, and other streaming services.
Arthur ends this podcast reflecting on changes in The City in last couple decades, culminating with where we are today.
We recorded this podcast over ZenCastr in March 2021.