Rachel Wolfson's Day Off in the San Fernando Valley Tells Her Origin Story
Comedian and 'Jackass Forever' star Rachel Wolfson shows us the spots that built her, from her first-ever comedy club to what once was her grandparents' house.
The San Fernando Valley is a piece of Rachel Wolfson's heart. Sure, it reminds her of her family, but it's also the place where she found herself.
"People give the valley a hard rap," the Jackass Forever comedian said in a recent interview with Thrillist. "But when I think of California, I just think of the valley." While the valley has always been a special place to her, the more she grew up, the more certain places and landmarks became even more meaningful. It's like a family time capsule.
But there's two sides to these cherished memories. While Wolfson's valley is, on one hand, a dainty, comforting place filled with childhood moments, it is also the neighborhood that transformed her into the daredevil comedian she is now.
One day, she just decided to give it a go at Flappers Comedy Club, and the rest is history. "I just really struggled to find my place in this world and making people laugh always came easy to me," she said. "And then something inside of me screamed, 'Get on stage!'"
Everything in Wolfson's life led up to what she's doing now. This included starring in Jackass Forever, where she shows the fearless, yet very comedic side of her personality, and where she lets a scorpion "botox" her face. "I think it's no secret that women can experience pain [and] that we find pain funny," she said. "I think that for them to not include a woman would be ignoring an entire demographic of fans and also just, women like to do dumb shit too!"
In our series "Ride With Me," Wolfson walks us down memory lane, and leads us to the San Fernando Valley places that molded her character. By showing us her grandma's old house, the first stage she ever performed on, and her go-to dispensaries, Wolfson welcomes us into both her childhood and adulthood in the valley, and gives us some great tips on how to best experience it along the way.
Get ready to hop on stage—we're going to the San Fernando Valley!
Places to Eat & Drink
Ma's Italian Kitchen
Ma's is a food staple to Wolfson, and it's definitely one of her favorite restaurants.
She discovered it during the pandemic, and now can't get enough of their food. "You can't go wrong with anything," she said. But if you are really looking for some recommendations, Wolfson will tell you to try their meatballs, which come with ricotta toast. She also often gets the pickled peppers, the chopped salad, the ravioli, the spaghetti and meatballs dish, and of course a big plate of fettuccine alfredo. And if you ordered too much, you can always pack it up and bring it home.
This Jewish deli is the perfect cure for hangovers, but one can go there to get anything and everything.
Wolfson even has a signature sandwich she gets all the time. When you order, just ask for turkey, cheddar, lettuce, red onion, crispy lettuce, crispy red onion, and "special mustard" on lightly toasted rye—and don't forget a side of sauerkraut. The unofficial sandwich name, you ask? The Wolfson, of course.
Things to Do
Wolfson's Grandparents' House & the Park Nearby
Wolfson's grandparents don't live in this house anymore, but she took us here anyway. To her, it means a lot—even if now some strangers live there.
Wolfson fondly remembers the house's floors, which were "like, so eighties," as well as the living room's two Lay-Z-Boys. One was for her grandpa, and the other was for her grandma. The house might look different now, but its old features are still etched in Wolfson's memory.
The park was a ritual in Wolfson's childhood. Her grandpa would always take her there for walks, and eventually it became part of the routine.
It's probably where her daring spirit started to develop. "I would climb the trees," she said. She came back to the park in the last couple of years, but this time, no tree climbing. It wasn't her choice, though. "If there was a tree to climb, I definitely would!" she said.
Flappers Comedy Club
If you come to Flappers for the comedy, you stay for the fish. "Their salmon is fire!" said Wolfson.
Flappers Comedy Club is the first stage Wolfson ever had the courage to walk up on. They have fun open mic nights, and it's a good place to go when you're new to the comedy world. And don't worry about getting roasted: "They're very friendly towards new comics for sure," said Wolfson.
The Higher Path
If you're looking for something to take the edge off, The Higher Path dispensary is the place to be. You might even get a laugh or two out of it. "They actually employ a lot of comics who during the pandemic got side jobs in the cannabis industry," explained Wolfson.
If you're unsure what to get, feel free to walk up to one of the "budtenders" and ask them for guidance. "It's not about profit for them," said Wolfson. "It's about how they can educate people."
After shopping at The Higher Path, Wolfson's advice is to go up in the Hills taking one of the hill drives, and then stop at one of the scenic points. Once there, feel free to light it up and enjoy the view, although make sure to avoid driving under the influence.