SF Comedy Icon Banducci Dies

Enrico Banducci, 85, a fixture of the North Beach nightclub scene for half a century, died in San Francisco October 9th.

His hungry i nightclub gained fame in the 1950s and ’60s for helping launch the careers of political satirist Mort Sahl, Shelley Berman and Jonathan Winters.

After Sahl’s groundbreaking comedy put the hungry i on the comedy map, a stream of cutting-edge comics graced its stage including Phyllis Diller, Dick Gregory, Lenny Bruce and Bill Cosby.

In one of its most memorable pairings, headliner Woody Allen introduced a young singer named Barbra Streisand.

At the height of his entertainment "empire" in San Francisco, Banducci owned all or part of three other venues, including the famed Purple Onion.