Monday, June 28, 2010

Laughing With The Enemy: Four Comedians Walk Into A War

What do you get when four comedians walk into a war? Answer: The Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour. 

Palestinian comic Ray Hanania, Israeli stand-ups Charley Warady and Yisrael Campbell, and Jewish African-American jokester Aaron Freeman have performed for audiences all over Israel.

It's the first time Palestinian and Israeli comedians have performed on stage together in Israel - and not a single shot was fired.

The quartet has been touring the U. S. for the last few years and has achieved quite a following.

Are four comedians (one Arab and three Jewish) going to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by making them laugh together?  Probably not, but that's not stopping them from trying.

RAY HANANIA is a Palestinian-American Ray 
Hanania, Palestinian Comedianstandup comedian and an award-winning columnist for The Jerusalem Post and PalsestineNote.com. One of the most-written and talked about Arab Palestinian comedians in America today, Hanania has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Chicago Tribune, ABC News, The Today Show, CNN, and more. He is a Chicago Radio Talk Show Host and activist for peace Hanania, a former PLO spokesman who grew up in Chicago, is the first Palestinian to share a stage with Jewish and Israeli comedians.  

 YISRAEL CAMPBELL is an Orthodox Jew Yisrael 
Campbellwith a twist. His one-man shows, "It's Not In Heaven" and "Circumcise Me"are works of pure humor. After starting out in this world as a Catholic, he charts his course to where he is today and having made aliyah six years ago. He performs his show all over the world, appearing recently in London, and toured the United States, with regular performances in Israel. The Philadelphia Inquirer described his show as "fits of laughter".

AARON FREEMAN is a standup Aaron Freeman, 
Jewish American Comediancomedian, popular columnist, and radio commentator. His views on being a Black, Jewish convert, have made him a hit all across America from colleges to Jewish groups. A veteran of Second City, Freeman often offers his insights on NPR's flagship program "All Things Considered."  Freeman, also from Chicago, and Campbell, from Philadelphia, were the subjects of Jewish Humor Central blog posts in January and last October.

CHARLEY WARADY headlined Charley Waradycomedy clubs and colleges all across the US, appearing on both NBC and Comedy Central, before emigrating to Israel ten years ago. He has continued his career in Israel, performing in English as part of the Off The Wall Comedy series, targeting every aspect of life and politics in Israel.

Here's an update on their unique approach to comedy, as reported on the Jewish Television Network:

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