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.
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).
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.
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; Barbaraand Don Rickles, 48 years. Newhart has a theory: “I think if you can keep laughing you will stay together.”
What happens when an aspiring musical theater performer takes over an escort service.
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.
The relationship between man and machine is at the center of Eddie Antar’s ‘The Navigator.’
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.”
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.
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."