Based in Los Angeles, COLD TOFU is the nation’s premier Asian American comedy improv and sketch group. A nonprofit organization, COLD TOFU was founded in 1981 by Marilyn Tokuda, Denice Kumagai, Judy Momii and Irma Escamilla. At that time, the four founding members wanted to perform comedy and also provide an opportunity for Asian American actors to perform and explore comedy. Stocked with six-packs and chips, the core group met regularly at each other’s homes exploring new territory – Asian American comedy. Though touted as being the first Asian-American improv group, Cold Tofu is actually multi-cultural. Early members include Amy Hill, Phil LaMarr, Sab Shimono, Geoff Rivas, and Joey Miyashima.
Today, COLD TOFU is a membership company comprised of 30 active members, performing regularly in Little Tokyo near the Downtown Arts District. Core and Associate members rotate as part of the main cast, performing in venues all across the nation (San Jose, Seattle, Houston, New York, Washington, D.C.), as well as local venues such as The Grammy Museum, Acme Comedy, The Los Angeles Theatre Center, Westside Comedy, The Clubhouse and Fanatic Salon.
COLD TOFU also teaches Level 1 - Level 3 improv workshops in Little Tokyo, and provides corporate and youth workshops throughout the community, working with companies and organizations such as Deloitte & Touche, Northrop Grumman, Paramount Studios, National Asian-American Bar Association (NAPABA), Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics (LEAP), Asian Professional Exchange (APEX), Ascend, Nisei Week, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena Unified School District, and the San Gabriel Valley Youth Summit.
COLD TOFU is dedicated to promoting diverse images of Asian Pacific Americans through comedy and also to developing multiethnic talent through education and performance. For information on the cast, click here.