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Stay in your seat . . .

Comedian and actor Julia Jackson says that the comedy started in Wisconsin. Her father came from Harlem and her mother came from a dairy farm.

"The jokes just write themselves," Jackson says. "When you grow up in a place like Wisconsin, the assumption is that you are a stupid, fat hick.

"Only one of those is true."

Jackson wound up in San Francisco, because "it was the only place that would take me," she says.

Jackson will perform at 9 p.m. Friday, March 23, at Ground Zero, 123 S. Front St., Medford. Greg Edwards will open the show.

Jackson's humor is personable and real. She's rocked audiences at comedy clubs and comedy festivals using her heart, mind and insightful wit.

"I do observational humor, some political stuff," she says. "I'm an equal-opportunity satirist. There are no sacred cows at my shows. Everyone takes a hit."

She has performed in comedy clubs such as The Punchline, the Improv, The Comedy Store, Comedy Underground and The Icehouse in cities up and down the West Coast. She was a semi-finalist at a San Francisco International Comedy Competition, no mean feat when you're up against comics the likes of Dana Carvey and Don Friesen.

Jackson also appeared in the 1997 film "Some Prefer Cake," a fast-paced comedy about food, love and relationships in San Francisco.

Show opener Edwards was born and raised in Virginia, and has made San Francisco his home since 2001. Southern hospitality is a factor in the inspiration for his comedy.

Admission to shows at Ground Zero costs $5 and includes a buffet-style dinner. Call 779-4827.

Art Krug and Josh Branham will perform at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 23-24, at Chadwick's Pub and Sports Bar in the Rogue Regency Inn, 2300 Biddle Road, Medford.

Early in Krug's career, his agent got a call asking if she had a singing gorilla that could embarrass someone at a sushi bar.

"No," she replied, "but I have a comedian."

The events that followed sent Krug on a career performing at comedy clubs, corporate shows and casinos around the United States and Canada — which prepared him for the day he appeared on a tour bus full of sleepy retirees driving around downtown Portland, his hometown.

Branham got his start in comedy in Los Angeles. The moment he hit the stage, "the lights came on," he says on his Web site, and he knew stand-up was his calling. It wasn't long before he was working regularly at comedy clubs in L.A. and around the country. He's worked with comics such as Greg Hahn, Etta May, Kevin Bozeman and Jim Wiggins.

Admission to shows at Chadwick's Pub costs $5. Call 282-2122.

Julia Jackson is sans the long dreadlocks these days, but she and her mini 'fro will appear this weekend at Ground Zero. - Photo by Dan Dion