As it is almost Christmas, it seems appropriate I should mention Jews. I feel He would have wanted it.
Laughing at Jews has become an international tradition and a special day has now been set aside – Sunday 22nd February. If you are not attending church that day, I suggest you book now.
They say: “When your history is filled with pogroms and persecution, what else can you do but laugh?”
The day includes:
- Jewish Mothers: Myth or Mirth
- A Room With a Jew
- Speed Pitching: Sitcom with Bennett Arron
- Laughing Yoga
- It’s a Verkakte World with Lynn Ruth Miller
… and Beyond The Joke, based on the esteemed comedy website of the same name.
In that session, comedian Lewis Schaffer will be interviewing comedy critic Bruce Dessau.
“Surely poor Bruce will not get a word in?” I asked Lewis Schaffer. “And surely he should be interviewing you?”
Lewis Schaffer, of course, ignored this question and told me about himself:
“Bruce listed my show as one of the ten shows he must see in the last week of the Edinburgh Fringe in August and then either forgot to come OR didn’t have time to write about it.
“He saw one of my first shows in the UK – upstairs at the old East Dulwich Tavern – back in 2000. That night I should have learned that, while British audiences may look like American audiences, they aren’t like American audiences. I was booed offstage TWICE.
“First was when I pointed out that there were three black guys in a room full of white people after saying to the three black men in the front: Hello black guys.
“I begged forgiveness and asked to be allowed back on stage and start again. I then repeated the entire sequence of jokes and then said again: Hello black guys.
“I thought it was ballsy and funny but the audience did not. British audiences do not like being pointed out by racial characteristics, unlike American audiences. It can be done and I can now do it, but the comic must understand how charged a situation the comic is entering.”
Another session on the Jewish Comedy Day in February is a reprise of The Grouchy Club – the chat show which critic Kate Copstick and I did at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe and will again do at next year’s Edinburgh Fringe.
I am not Jewish but seem to have been surrounded by Jews my entire life.
This was a good thing at school, because normal lessons were pretty-much abandoned during Jewish holidays in favour of general knowledge quizzes.
There seemed little point doing normal lessons when, for example, the Latin class was missing two-thirds of its pupils.
Everyone had to study French and one other language – the choice being between German and Latin.
Most Jews at my school chose Latin.
I also had to be circumcised late in life for what were claimed to be medical reasons but what was, I suspect, either some bizarre in-joke or a job creation scheme by doctors who were manufacturing handbags from the cut-off bits. When you rubbed the handbags, they became suitcases.
And that, dear reader, is why I am not and have no ambition to be a comedian.
Merely a Jewish chat show co-host kinda goy.
A boy has to have ambitions.