Monday, August 5, 2013

When Comedy Went to School

I saw this movie last night at the JCC in Manhattan. It was a lovely homage to  the birth of stand up comedy and the Catskills. Afterward there was a Q& A afterward

with the filmmakers and Jerry Stiller.
      The film explained to the average person who is not familiar with the Catskills and the borscht belt that the the beginnings of stand up comedy started there. A lot of frum Jews still go to the Catskills every summer, but the true heyday were the 1930's to the 1960's .
       Robert Klein is the main narrator . Jerry Lewis, Larry King, Sid Caesar, Jerry Stiller, Mort Sahl , Jackie Mason, Buddy Hackett's son,  and a few other comedians whose names I am not familiar with were interviewed. Buddy Hackett, Lenny Bruce, Mel Brooks, Alan King , Don Rickles , Carl Reiner, Totie Fields  and Eddie Canter were also featured.
      The 1930's - 1960's was a time when Jewish people went to the Catskills with their single children and tried to find them a Jewish spouse there. Jerry Stiller said that he and his wife were actually not so welcome to perform there at that time because they were an intermarried couple.
      Though the stomping ground of comedians today is not the Catskills, there still are a lot of Jewish comedians. Comedy is about words and putting words together and timing. Jewish people have a knack for just that. Also  as the film suggests , with one of our forefathers named Yitzchak  whose name means he will laugh, why wouldn't Jews be good at comedy?


Anonymous said...



frum single female said...

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