Friday, June 24, 2016

Buzzy Walters Plays and Sings His Original "Jewish Calendar Song"


One of the benefits of surfing the Internet for Jewish content every day is that occasionally we run across new performers and new songs. That's what happened today when we came upon an original song by Buzzy Walters titled The Jewish Holiday Song.

In his composition, Walters manages to include all of the months of the Jewish calendar and the holidays and commemorations they contain. With each mention of a holiday or observance, he includes traces of melodies that we associate with them. Not just the High Holidays, Passover, and Chanukah, but also Shavuot, Tu Bishvat, Tisha B'Av, Yom HaAtzmaut, and Yom Hashoah.

We don't know Buzzy and never heard his music before, but we hope that featuring him on Jewish Humor Central gives him more of an audience and encourages him to keep on composing new songs on Jewish themes.

Enjoy and Shabbat Shalom!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Throwback Thursday Comedy Flashback: Buddy Hackett on The Johnny Carson Show


Every Thursday is Throwback Thursday and each week we relish the opportunity to do a deep dive into the treasure chest of old funny video clips .

Two years ago we posted a segment of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show from 1984 where Buddy Hackett talked about the TV censors denying his First Amendment rights to use a three letter word meaning "buttocks." He launched into two jokes that illustrated his point.

We found the second part of that segment where Buddy tells a few more on the same theme. But don't worry, he may get close to the line where censors would pounce but he doesn't cross it. 

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)


#Throwback Thursday #TBT

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Great Jewish Comedians: Albert Brooks as a Ventriloquist


Albert Brooks, the voice of Marlin, Nemo's father in the hit animated movie Finding Nemo and its just-opened sequel, Finding Dory, is a stand-up comedian, comedy writer and filmmaker.

His parents were Thelma (Goodman) Leeds and Harry Einstein, both children of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Austria. His mother was a singer and actress and his father a radio comedian known as Parkyakarkus. 

Unable to pass up a good punchline, the two performers named their youngest son Albert Einstein, a name he changed to Brooks as soon as he became an adult. His brother Bob retained the Einstein name and plays the role of Marty Funkhouser, one of Larry David's friends on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

In his stand-up comic days in 1972 Brooks performed on The Flip Wilson show. Here's one of his routines as a ventriloquist whose technique with a dummy left a lot to be desired.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)




Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Jewish Traces in Unexpected Places: A New Jewish Community Rises in Madagascar



A new Jewish community was officially born in Madagascar last month when 121 men, women and children underwent Orthodox conversions on the remote Indian Ocean island nation better known for lemurs, chameleons, dense rain forests and vanilla.

As JTA reported,
The conversions, which took place over a 10-day period, were the climax of a process that arose organically five to six years ago when followers of various messianic Christian sects became disillusioned with their churches and began to study Torah.
Through self-study and with guidance from Jewish internet sources and correspondence with rabbis in Israel, they now pray in Sephardic-accented Hebrew and strictly observe the Sabbath and holidays.
The conversions were facilitated by Kulanu, a New York-based nonprofit that specializes in supporting isolated and emerging Jewish communities, but were initiated by the residents.
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)


Monday, June 20, 2016

A Joke to Start the Week - "Have You Got a Good Chicken?"


We're back to our regular Monday schedule of posting a Joke to Start the Week. For this week's joke we dipped into the treasure chest of Old Jews Telling Jokes and came up with an oldie but goodie.

The joke teller is retired school teacher Howard Gurak. Here's the setup: A woman goes to a store to buy a chicken. It's the last day and they're just getting ready to close the store. She says "Mister, have you got a good chicken?" And then...

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)


Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Great Jewish Comedians: Lou Jacobi Teaches Jewish 101


Lou Jacobi (1913-2009)  was born Louis Harold Jacobovitch in Toronto, Ontario. Jacobi began acting as a boy, making his stage debut in 1924 at a Toronto theater, playing a violin prodigy in The Rabbi and the Priest. 

After working as the drama director of the Toronto Y.M.H.A., the social director at a summer resort, a stand-up comic in Canada’s equivalent of the Borscht Belt, and the entertainment at various weddings and bachelor parties, Jacobi moved to London to work on the stage, appearing in Guys and Dolls and Pal Joey

Jacobi made his Broadway debut in 1955 in The Diary of Anne Frank playing Hans van Daan, the less-than-noble occupant of the Amsterdam attic where the Franks were hiding, and reprised the role in the 1959 film version. 

Other Broadway performances included Paddy Chayefsky’s The Tenth Man (1959), Woody Allen’s Don’t Drink the Water (1966), and Neil Simon’s debut play Come Blow Your Horn (1961), in which he portrayed the playboy protagonist’s disappointed father. His reading of the film line "Aha!" stuck with the Times columnist William Safire so vividly that he cited it when writing about the meaning of the word 36 years later.

We encountered Lou Jacobi only through his records where he uses his expressive voice to maximum effect. His Jewish characters are hilarious in skits in You Don't Have to be Jewish, When You're in Love the Whole World is Jewish, and The Yiddish are Coming, The Yiddish are Coming. All of these records are worth having because the laughs they produce are infectious and just begging to be shared.

We've posted a few of his routines over the years from the first two albums. Here's an audio clip (too bad there's no video)  from The Yiddish are Coming, The Yiddish are Coming. In it Jacobi plays the part of a professor teaching a crash course in Jewish 101 and 102. 

It's rare to find a video of Jacobi as himself, but in October 1982, he appeared as a guest on David Letterman's Late Night Show. In the interview, which you can see below the Jewish 101 skit, Jacobi tells Letterman about his experiences working with Woody Allen.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)



Friday, June 17, 2016

Adon Olam Around the World: A Funicular Version in Mexico

 
Ramat Shalom is a modern Orthodox congregation in Naucalpan, a suburb of Mexico City. To celebrate its 25th anniversary this month, the congregation had a concert featuring Mexican operatic tenor Fernando de la Mora, who sang traditional Jewish songs in Hebrew and Yiddish, as well as liturgical chants.

Since we started Jewish Humor Central, we've posted 17 versions of Adon Olam, which is usually sung at the conclusion of the Shabbat morning service. But until now none has been sung to the melody of the Neapolitan song Funiculi, Funicula. It was written in 1880 to commemorate the opening of the first funicular cable car on Mount Vesuvius.

When we saw that this Adon Olam was on the concert program, we just had to share it with you, and what better day to share it than erev Shabbat.

So enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)     




Thursday, June 16, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Lou Gottlieb and The Limeliters Explain Rumania, Rumania



Lou Gottlieb (1923-1996) was the comic lead and bass player for the Limeliters, one of the most popular folk song groups in the 1960s. The other two members of the trio were Alex Hassilev on banjo and Glen Yarbrough on guitar. 

Gottlieb was a Ph.D. musicologist (he studied with Arnold Schoenberg) working as an arranger for the Kingston Trio when he met his bandmates in 1959. They were strong on harmonies and on funny, high-brow banter, and produced sixteen records during their six years together. 

He then bought the 32-acre Morning Star Ranch near San Francisco, which became headquarters for some time of the commune that helped provide free food and health services to hippies in Haight-Ashbury and at the Woodstock Festival. 

In 1969, Gottlieb tried to donate his ranch to God, but the court ruled that God would have to appear in person to accept the gift. 

We listened to the Limeliters a lot back in the 1960s and enjoyed their renditions of Lonesome Traveler, Those Were the Days, Wabash Cannonball, and the song that they enjoyed performing most in folk clubs, Have Some Madeira, M'dear.

Gottlieb used Yiddish expressions in some of the Limeliters songs. Here is their rendition of the Yiddish classic Rumania Rumania with funny asides during the running English translation that he provided. 

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)



#Throwback Thursday  #TBT

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Great Jewish Comedians: Mort Sahl at 89, Still Going Strong


Mort Sahl is #40 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all time, ranked between Billy Crystal and Jon Stewart. In 2003 he received the Fifth Annual Alan King Award in American Jewish Humor from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture.

Sahl's humor is based on current events, especially politics, which led Milton Berle to describe him as "one of the greatest political satirists of all time." His trademark persona is to enter the stage with a newspaper in hand, casually dressed in a V-neck sweater. He would often recite some news stories combined with satire. He was dubbed "Will Rogers with fangs" by Time magazine in 1960.

Sahl was born on May 11, 1927 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the only child of Jewish parents. His father, Harry Sahl, came from an immigrant family on New York's Lower East Side, and hoped to become a Broadway playwright. He met his wife when she responded to an advertisement he took out in a poetry magazine. Unable to break into the writing field they moved to Canada where he owned a tobacco store in Montreal.

Two years ago, at the age of 87, Sahl made an appearance on the TV show Set List: Stand-up Without a Net, in which comedians come on stage without a routine. They have to improvise based on a series of topics that are flashed on a screen. Sahl showed that he's still a pro at comedy.

And now, at 89, he's still going strong. Every Thursday at 7pm Sahl takes the stage at the Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, California to deliver a show filled with his legendary, take-no-prisoners wit. 

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)  


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Joke to Start the Week - "Unexpected Diagnosis"


Hey, it's Tuesday! Wasn't the Joke to Start the Week supposed to appear on Monday? Yes, but Monday was the second day of Shavuot everywhere but Israel, so we didn't post yesterday.

But that's no reason to skip a joke for this week, so we're posting it today instead. Today we're bringing back Michael Hirsch for another round.  

Michael, an investment advisor for individuals and institutions, is a graduate of Brooklyn College, Class of '66. He attended Telshe Yeshiva during high school and Yeshiva Netzach Yisrael during college. When he's not telling jokes, Michael enjoys participating in triathlons. 

Here's the setup for today's joke: Max is going to the doctor for his annual physical and the doctor runs all the tests, head to foot. And then...

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)