Enrico Banducci's Legendary hungry i Lives Again!
hungry i Memories 3

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SHELLEY BERMAN, who was on hand to launch the hungry i exhibition, and recorded his 1959 album INSIDE SHELLEY BERMAN at the club, points to what was special about the management there.

"At the hungry i, the show was sacred. Enrico was the most unique human being, not like any nightclub owner we'd ever met. You didn't get to talk to them much. They were too busy counting their money. Enrico really cared for the talent and watched out for them.”

JEANNETTE LABLANCA cites the comfort  zone the hungry i was for artists and audiences alike.

“Some people enjoy going to places where there are hecklers, but for me, they just spoil the show for the paying patrons.  And when I like an entertainer, I hate to see people trying to throw them off balance.

You never got that at the hungry i. Nobody got away doing that to the performers.  And God Knows, some of them were pretty controversial, and could offend even patrons with left of middle-of-the road views.  At the I, you either listened or left.  No in between.

Mort Sahl

My husband and I went there really often when we were engaged, and after our marriage as well.   Mort Sahl was always our favorite.

MARY HAGER, now resident in Virginia, recalls the routine fellow students at Stanford University followed for visits to the hungry i.

The hungry i was a regular treat for a group of us from Stanford. Dinner first at Lupo's, then the Hungry I.

What I remember most is the energy, enthusiasm and sheer joy of The Gateway Singers, also the voices, how superb were the solos and how well they blended and complimented each other.

Happy memories of times and friends, long gone, that were great fun.

When DICK CAVETT  interviewed WOODY ALLEN about the  latter's movie TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN, there was a three-way hungry i connection.

The chat show host and filmmaker had both gotten important boosts to their previous careers as stand-up comics at the club, and a part of Take the Money and Run was shot in the alley behind the i.

hungry i scene

Watching a clip from the film together during an interview, Woody Allen confirmed where the scene was shot.   "I thought so! I know that alley. I used to go there after my act, when I was appearing at the hungry i. I would go there, and meet the audience, and we would both be sick occasionally," responded the host, laughing.

NICOLE SAVAGE feels that the hungry i was an important part of the city she celebrates in www.sfheart.com.

“My friend Nathan worked at the hungry i as a waiter, so I was often invited to see the performances during the folk song period.

The maitre d`was Harry Smith. The announcer was blacklisted screen writer Alvah Bessie and the manager was children show host David Allen. I remember hearing Nina Simone one wonderful night.

The club Never made the transition to Rock, but the Lovin Spoonful did play there a week before they headlined at the Family Dog dance at Longshoreman Hall.

This was a most wonderful place of laughter and good times.

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Experience your own hungry i reunion with the wonderful DVD featuring commentary by Enrico Banducci and performances by The Kingston Trio, Limeliters, Mort Sahl, jonathan Winters, Stan Wilson + rare Lenny Bruce footage.  Just click the icon to order direct from Amazon!