10 Best And Most Missed Jewy Moments From The SNL 40th Anniversary Special

Live from Jew York…It’s 40 years of Saturday Night Live.

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Saturday Night Live became Sunday Night Live for one night this past weekend. Lorne Michaels' colossal tribute to the 40th anniversary of the cherished, laudatory sketch comedy show that has been airing on NBC at 11:30 p.m. for the last four decades, served up a potent dose of hilarity blended with nostalgia on Sunday night. With the recent retiring of two late night talk show kings to make way for new rulers, following Leno's dethroning last February, 2015 has been a transformative and monumental year for comedy. So it is only fitting that the head chef of satire would cook up a lavish feast.

adam and andy

Borscht And Belly Laughs

The Borscht Belt still draws crowds.

Slush and sleet on a recent evening couldn’t keep a group of Catskill buffs away from “Echoes of the Borscht Belt,” a Yeshiva University Museum exhibition of photographs by Marisa Scheinfeld. The gallery visit was followed by a screening of “When Comedy Went to School” and a discussion led by the documentary’s host and narrator, comedian and actor Robert Klein.

Robert Klein

The King Of Comedy Reclaims His Throne

His comedy may not be kosher, but Brooklyn-born comedy giant, Andrew Dice Clay, is one hundred percent Jewish.

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“Oh … it’s a whole thing here,” said Clay with his infamous wry grin when he was asked to pose for photographers, faux-signing a book, before the real signing began. The event had barely begun and the jokes were already rolling. 

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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

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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

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

David Finkelstein: "Para-Orthodox"

An Orthodox comedian discusses his rebellious ways.

Have I Got A Job For You?

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.

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.’

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.”
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