Sunday, May 1, 2016

Yid Life Crisis - Searching for Yiddish Speakers and Second Hand Items in Old Jaffa


We've been following the Canadian comedy duo of Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion as they travel the world in search of funny situtations involving Yiddish culture, language, and food.
 
Their web series, YidLife Crisis, was recently nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for best original digital media series.

They have taken their act on the road, performing a live version of their show in Krakow, Tel Aviv, Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles and Birmingham, England.

The pair has also received a prestigious grant from the Natan Fund and have created a series of five travelogues featuring their impressions of Tel Aviv. In the last two months we posted their funny Valentine’s Day episode guest staring Mayim Bialik and the first of a series of Tel Aviv episodes, Canadians in Cabs Getting Kishkas.

There's a lot of Yiddish in some of the episodes and some of the English includes coarse language that we avoid in our family-friendly posts, so we pick the episodes that we share with you very carefully.

Today we're posting another one of their Tel Aviv episodes . In it, they search the markets in Old Jaffa for used items (alte zachen in Yiddish) and for Yiddish speakers in the street.

Enjoy!
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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Our Last Passover Video of 2016 - Argentinian Seniors Go For Pesach Rock 'n' Roll


As we enter the last days of Pesach, we've had our fill of new Passover music videos and we suspect you have too. But for our last Passover blog post of the year we just have to post this one from Argentina.

As Cnaan Liphshiz wrote on the JTA website,
Passover internet hits are no longer a young person’s game. This year, a group of singers over 60 from the Jewish community of Cordoba, Argentina released their own Passover video clip, based on a pop number a little more to their liking — an Argentine rock ‘n’ roll song from 1964.

Titled “The Passover Palito,” it is an homage to the Argentine Elvis admirer Palito Ortega and is based on his hit “Despeinada,” meaning “uncombed.” It deals with an otherwise attractive woman with very unruly hair.

The Jewish version, produced by the Halevay choir of elderly singers from the Masorti wing of Cordoba’s Jewish community, assures listeners their “pretty little face and great figure” will become “a colossal disaster” if they come to “Granny Rosa’s seder” because they will not be able to control their eating when they taste her delicacies.

Designed with 1960s animation, the video was produced for Halevay’s 20th anniversary. It also features the band’s singers sporting 1970s afro wigs and flower power bandanas.
We'll be celebrating the last two days of Pesach with our kids and grandkids so there won't be any post tomorrow, but we'll be back with our usual mix starting on Sunday.

Wishing you a Chag Kasher v'Sameach.

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.)  


 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Passover Videos: "Leavened," a Parody of Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek"


Yesterday we took a day off from Passover videos to bring you the traditional Joke to Start the Week. But it's still Pesach for the rest of the week and leavened foods are still off-limits.

So now we're back to the videos that have been building up in our queue. Today's entry is a particularly well written and well performed parody on Irving Berlin's Cheek to Cheek.

It's written by lyricist Richard Eisenberg and performed by Adam B. Hammer, a TV and film actor who you may have seen in The Cobbler and The Normal Heart.

(BLOOPER ALERT: If you look carefully, you'll see that the box of Streit's Lightly Salted Matzos used in the video is in fact leavened and marked "NOT FOR PASSOVER USE" in the upper left corner.)

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.)  




(A tip of the kippah to Bob Hertzendorf for bringing this video to our attention.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Great Jewish Comedians: Phil Foster Tells the Funniest Joke He Ever Heard


Phil Foster (1913-1985)was born in Brooklyn, New York as Fivel Feldman. He took his stage name's surname from Foster Avenue in Brooklyn. 

He had his first taste of performing when he was a child, when he and his pals began singing and dancing in front of movie theatres. Then he began appearing in amateur shows, competing for prizes. With him on occasion was another beginner named Jackie Gleason.

At the height of the Great Depression, he started in the dramatic field, playing in halls, back rooms and wherever possible during a period when theatres weren't available. "We did all sorts of plays, including all of Clifford Odets' early works — for $28 to $35 a week, living three in a room eating — if there was any food around," he recalled.

Foster made his debut as a night club comic in Chicago in the late 1930s when he was pushed out on the floor suddenly to fill in for a stand-up comic. "I just got up and talked," he says. "I didn't know you were supposed to have an act. But I was offered the job at $125 a week."

He always intended to go back to acting, but, staying with the money, he rapidly made a reputation in night clubs and found himself in constant demand from New York to Birmingham to Seattle.

During World War II, Foster served in the United States Army. Upon his discharge, he returned to New York and become a variety show favorite with an act comprising stories based on his curious childhood in Brooklyn.

During the 1950s Foster made several comedy short subjects for Universal-International as "Brooklyn's Ambassador to the World". Because of his popularity he was chosen by George Pal to be one of the military space crewman on a trip to Mars in Conquest of Space.

It was Garry Marshall, an old friend whom he helped get started as a comedy writer for Joey Bishop and other entertainers, who lured him again to Hollywood, first to appear in The Odd Couple and then to co-star in Laverne & Shirley.

Here's Phil Foster telling the funniest joke he ever heard.

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.)  

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Joke to Start the Week: "Inflight Conversation en Route to Las Vegas"


We're taking a break from Passover videos because although it's the first day of Chol Hamoed, the intermediate days of Pesach, it's also Monday, and time for a Joke to Start the Week.

Here's another one from Bob Hertzendorf, certified hypnosis counselor and our prolific supplier of jokes to help us start your week with a smile.

As we've told you before, Bob is actually into more than hypnosis. He has appeared in stage versions of popular Broadway shows, including Guys and Dolls, Lend Me a Tenor, Barefoot in the Park, and he played the rabbi in a production of Fiddler on the Roof.

 
Here's the setup for today's joke: I get on the plane to Las Vegas and I sit down to what appears to be a very attractive young lady, and on her sweater are the initials N.A.N.


So I say "Hi, Nan." And she says "My name isn't Nan, it's Alice." 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.)  
 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Passover Videos: Israeli a Cappella Group KippaLive Sings Vehi She'amda with When You Believe


As we get ready to celebrate Pesach with the first seder tonight (and the first and only seder tonight in Israel) we selected an a cappella combination of Vehi She'amda from the text of the Haggadah with the song When You Believe from the soundtrack of the movie Prince of Egypt, as sung by KippaLive.

KippaLive is an Israeli a cappella group that started out as a group of friends in Raanana who got together every Friday night to sing and were discovered while singing in the streets of Raanana. We have featured them previously in an a cappella song for Chanukah in 2013.

This year we are not in Israel for Pesach, so we're celebrating the first two days with two sedarim and attending synagogue services on Shabbat and Sunday. So there won't be a Jewish Humor Central post until Monday, when we'll return with another Joke to Start the Week.

All of us at Jewish Humor Central wish you and your family a Shabbat Shalom and a Chag Kasher v'Sameach.

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.)  



Thursday, April 21, 2016

Passover Videos: Do You Hear Our People Sing?

 
Do You Hear Our People Sing? is one of the latest of a string of parodies of popular songs and Broadway show tunes that relate to Passover in general and to the seder in particular.

Barbara Sarshik has written lyrics to many songs from Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, South Pacific, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, The Pirates of Penzance, and songs from the Beatles songbook.

Together with a few other lyricists and with the aid of graphic designer Randi Rose she compiled a songbook that we can all download and use to bring an extra measure of joy to our seder tables this week.

Here's a video of Do You Hear Our People Sing?, one of the 67 songs in the collection, as performed by The Charosettes.

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.)      

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Passover Videos: Boys Town Jerusalem Choir Sings Chad Gadya at Jerusalem Parks


Every year the boys of Boys Town Jerusalem produce a music video for Passover. This year they went on location at two Jerusalem parks, Ein Yael and the new Emek Hatzvaim in central Jerusalem. 

Getting close to nature, the boys were able to include some of the wildlife represented in the Haggadah, both live animals and statues, to act out the verses of Chad Gadya, the traditional last song in the Haggadah.

Established in 1948 to provide a home and education for young immigrants to the newly-created State of Israel, Boys Town Jerusalem has become one of the country's largest and most respected educational institutions. 

Boys Town was founded by Alexander S. Linchner, a Brooklyn-born rabbi who, after the Holocaust, devoted his life to building a school for the children of immigrants who poured into Israel from countries around the world. His goal: providing them with a quality education that would prepare them to build the State of Israel with technological skill and traditional Jewish idealism.

Today, the beautiful 18-acre Boys Town campus in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem is one of Israel’s major technological training centers. Approximately 800 students, ranging in age from 12 to 20, live on the campus, with a capacity to house up to 1,000.
 
The children and grandchildren of immigrants from 45 countries on six continents, they mirror the ethnic diversity of the Israeli population. More than 75% come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and require substantial scholarship assistance. No student is ever turned away from Boys Town due to inability to pay tuition.
 
In addition to receiving a fine technological and academic education, Boys Town students are deeply imbued with traditional Jewish values and ideals, and pride in their Jewish heritage. As a result, Boys Town graduates are proud to serve in the Israel Defense Forces and then go on to build fine Jewish homes and families, while making important contributions to their communities and the State of Israel. Among Boys Town’s more than 6,200 graduates are many engineers, technicians, educators, fine craftsmen and professionals.
 
Enjoy the video!

(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, April 19, 2016

Passover Humor: An Italian-American Stand-up Comedian Reviews the Passover Seder


OK, so Sebastian Maniscalco isn't your typical Jewish comedian. That's because he's an Italian-American comedian who had the good fortune to be invited to a Passover seder. 

Why good fortune? Because it gave him a basis for a short comedy routine that's making its way around the Internet and is being distributed by the Israel Video Network this week.

We're so used to the annual preparations for the seder and its familiar structure that it's easy not to realize that someone who has never participated in this wonderful and delicious evening ritual might view the proceedings quite differently. 

In this video, Maniscalco describes the seder with fresh comedic eyes as a non-Jew who was invited to what he assumed would be an ordinary dinner, not an evening where "pamphlets" would be passed out and read for two hours before being served celery and crackers.

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.)      


Monday, April 18, 2016

Jokes to Start the Week and Announcing The Jewish Week's Funniest Jewish Comedian Contest


Every year The Jewish Week, New York's  Jewish newspaper, sponsors a contest over a four week period to find the funniest Jewish comic of the year.

This year, the stand-up comedy shows will take place at the Broadway Comedy Club in New York City. Preliminary contest rounds will be on June 5th, 15th, and 19th, with finals being held on Sunday, June 26.

If you like telling jokes and would like to tell them to a New York audience with a chance to win paid spots at the Broadway Comedy Club, cash and/or prizes, just contact Geoff Kole by email or phone. Contact information is on the flyer at the left of this page.

To get in the mood for four evenings of stand-up Jewish comedy, we're sharing a  video clip of one of the rounds in last year's competition.

In this clip, stand-up comedian Adam Gabel shares funny observations about his family.

So mark your calendars for four nights of fun in New York City and 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.)