Comedian Paul Ogata graced the cover of Midweek in June of 2004. “I think that was just before I went to do a spot on The Late Late Show on CBS,” remembers Ogata. “At that time the host was (Craig) Kilborn. Shortly after I did the show he announced he was quitting, so I don’t know if I had anything to do with it - I hope not,” he says, tongue in cheek.
Lately, Ogata has become not only popular in the U.S. but also in Hong Kong. A newspaper in China described Ogata as having, “a cherubic grin that belies a wickedly funny streak.”
“I’ve been going to Hong Kong a lot to do comedy,” he says. “You wouldn’t think that they’d get it there, but there’s a lot of British expats, Canadians, Australians, Americans - and every time I’m there, some Hawaii people visiting manage to hear about it and come down. So that’s always good fun.”
Though Ogata visits Hawaii a couple of times a year, he now lives with wife Kris and their two dogs in Valencia, Calif. (“I would like to have kids, but I’m gone so long that if I do come home and my wife is pregnant, something will be fishy.”)
“We love roller coasters, so that’s why we moved to Valencia, right next to Six Flags Magic Mountain,” says Ogata. “We bought a yearlong pass and we’ve made really good use of it.”
But all was not fun and games for the comedian recently. “My trip to Hong Kong last month was when the wildfires were raging in California, right near my house,” he recalls. “I was watching the news, hoping that the winds would change. The fire crossed into the ravine next to our community and thankfully stopped.”
Meanwhile, Ogata’s career has been rocketing. Last month he spent three weeks as a contestant in the San Francisco International Comedy Competition. “Former winners include Dana Carvey from Saturday Night Live, Sinbad and Marsha Warfield from Night Court,” he points out. “People who didn’t win include Robin Williams, Ellen DeGeneres, Dane Cook - and I ended up winning.” Ogata beat out more than 30 top-of-the-line comedians for the winning spot, which came with $25,000.
He’s also about to appear on the silver screen.
“I just did a part in a movie with Ron Jeremy, Marilyn Chambers, Tera Patrick and assorted porn people,” he laughs. “I don’t know what I’m allowed to say about it right now, so just know that it involves actors and actresses from the adult industry and other people who have nothing to lose by doing this project except me. It’s a comedy and it’ll either be the next South Park or the end of my career.”
You can take in a performance by the Hawaii-born funny man at Pipeline Caf on Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, visit www.TicketMaster.com or call 1-877-750-4400.
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