comedy

Remembering Sid Caesar

Comedy great Sid Caesar died on Wednesday at age 91, at his home in Beverly Hills.  His pioneering work in television in the 1950s, with “Your Show of Shows,” spawned television’s golden age. I interviewed Caesar in November 2003 when his book  “My Life in Comedy, With Love and Laughter" was published.  Some excerpts of that interview follow.

Sid Caesar, 1922 - 2014

Pew And Jewish Humor

10/16/2013
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For years, the Jewish community and synagogue leaders have fought the trend 
of dropping membership and attendance. Now the Pew study provides an answer (“Jews Serious When It Comes To Humor,” Oct. 11).


Old Jews, Jokes And Birthdays

Approaching his 62nd birthday, my husband announced he wanted to be a stand-up comedian.  I do laugh at his jokes, but a stand-up? I don’t know…..I took him to see “Old Jews Telling Jokes,” playing off-Broadway, on his birthday for a taste of the classics.

Tim Boxer At Friars Toast Of Don Rickles

08/01/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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The comedians who populate the ranks of the New York Friars Club have endured beyond their expiration date. When we ask “how old is he” the answer is “deceased.”  George Burns passed on at 100; Henny Youngman departed at 92.

Even comedians’ marriages last forever. Ginny and Bob Newhart have been married 50 years; Barbara and Don Rickles, 48 years. Newhart has a theory: “I think if you can keep laughing you will stay together.”

Don Rickles and Kathy Griffin at the Friars. Photo by Tim Boxer

Have I Got A Job For You?

What happens when an aspiring musical theater performer takes over an escort service.

09/11/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

It may be the world’s oldest profession, but it was the last place that a nice Jewish boy from Dix Hills, L.I., expected to land a job after college. In Josh Mesnik’s autobiographical new comedy, “Have I Got a Girl For You,” directed by Sara Sahin, the playwright stars as the manager of one of the largest escort agencies on the East Coast, a job that taught him the ins and outs of the business of prostitution.

Playwright Josh Mesnik portrays himself in autobiographical “Have I Got a Girl For You.”

GPS As Prophet

The relationship between man and machine is at the center of Eddie Antar’s ‘The Navigator.’

02/21/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

What if our machines started talking back? In Eddie Antar’s new comedy, “The Navigator,” an omniscient GPS dispenses solutions to an unemployed man’s financial and marital woes. The play, which was nominated for eight Off-Off-Broadway theater awards last year (and won two) has been remounted at the WorkShop Theater Company near Penn Station. Jonathan Mandell of Back Stage called it a “clever, cautionary comedy about our tech-dependent era.”

Joseph Franchini and Kelly Anne Burns as the come-to-life voice of his car’s GPS device in “The Navigator.”

Ben Stiller To Star in HBO Series About Jewish Family

01/26/2012

NEW YORK (JTA) -- Ben Stiller reportedly has signed on to direct, produce and star in an HBO original series about a Jewish family called “All Talk.”

The script is being written by Jonathan Safran Foer and the series, set in Washington, will co-star Alan Alda.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show is billed as “politically, religiously, culturally, intellectually and sexually irreverent.

Shooting is set to begin in the fall.

The Ghost At The Seder Table: A Charles Busch Passover

08/30/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

From the Plagues visited on the Egyptians to the parting of the Red Sea, Passover is permeated with the supernatural. Little wonder, then, that Charles Busch’s new comedy, “Olive and the Bitter Herbs,” deals with a Passover seder hosted by a misanthropic elderly actress, Olive Fisher (Marcia Jean Kurtz) that is overshadowed by a mysterious ghost.

New play with Passover theme offers comical look at Jewish tradition.

Meet Joseph Dorman, Director Of "Sholem Aleichem, Laughing In The Darkness"

Joseph Dorman is director of a riveting portrait of the great writer whose stories became the basis of the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof. "Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness" tells the tale of the rebellious genius who created an entirely new literature. Dorman calls Sholem Aleichem the "grandfather of all Jewish comedians today."

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