Paul Ogata in Kona, HI

Paul Ogata in Kona, HI post image

Ah, Kona. I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for Kona.

It’s where I shot my first spot doing stand-up comedy on national TV. Back in the day, MTV was a channel that showed music videos. (Remember that?) And when music videos were brand new and MTV was the hero of the art, even the broadcast networks wanted a piece of that action. Especially since not many homes actually received MTV. (In fact, MTV launched an ad campaign featuring Sting, and other stars of the day, haranguing viewers to get MTV, loudly proclaiming, “I want my MTV!” (Curiously, I only saw the ads on the network itself, which sort of defeats the purpose. It’s like having pamphlets for the illiterate.)

To combat this cultural phenomenon, NBC created a program called Friday Night Videos. Each week after The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, they aired an hour-and-a-half of the latest music vids. After everyone got basic cable and the novelty wore off, NBC showed fewer music videos, changed the name to Friday Night then changed it again to Late Friday, and featured stand-up comedy instead. This was my first crack at performing on television for the entire country to see. I wore an aloha shirt that was very blue, but my act was very green. Yeah, I don’t think I was quite ready for this opportunity just yet. But thanks to the suits at NBC for giving me the chance anyway.

Seems like Kona is always bittersweet for me. A few years ago I returned to do a show there and a mother-daughter tandem flashed me their naked boobs during the show. They just stood up, raised their tops and whipped those puppies out, as if they were at a monster truck jam. Hooray, right? Nope, the daughter was in her 60’s. Oh well, that’s Kona for you.

So I’ll be back at the scene of the crime. Okay, both crimes. Here are the details:

FRIDAY, AUGUST 22, 7:30pm
Kona Coffee & Tea Co.
74-5035 Queen Kaahumanu Hwy, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

FRIDAY, AUGUST 22, 9:30pm
Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill
75-5995 Kuakini Hwy, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

As both shows are on the same night, I’ve dubbed this my 1-Night Big Island Tour. For tickets and information for the shows, call 808-329-4ENT or email

Can’t be in Kona on Friday August 22? Then catch me the following night on Oahu as I headline the 9th Annual Laughs For Lions charity benefit show at Mamiya Theatre! Or come to all the shows if you have that kind of money.

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