What makes Jewish humor funny?
I don’t know. I think sometimes the Jews are very cruel and I’m very cruel because we make fun of cripples and misfits. Hinckadicka, I think that means hunchback. The Ritz Brothers had this guy Harry Ritz who would do misfortunates. This tradition may have come from Ukraine, where Jews had fun making fun of stutterers and doubletalkers and missteppers. Anyway, Harry Ritz was very funny, and following in his footsteps were Sid Caesar and Jerry Lewis and people who did funny faces and physical comedy. Strangely enough, Jerry Lewis’s crazy funny walk stems from this. This tradition comes from Yiddish theater too.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
We've profiled Mel Brooks, comedian, actor, producer and directory when he got his star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame last year, and on other occasions. Now, when we found out that he gave an exclusive interview to Moment magazine last November, we had to share his funny stories and observations with you.
In a wide-ranging interview with Lynda Gorov titled Mel Brooks: King of the Politically Incorrect, Brooks touches on his childhood in Brooklyn, his surprise when he discovered that not every comedian is Jewish, his views on Jewish humor, his Army experiences, and his encounter with and response to anti-semitism.
Here's a sample:
We couldn't find a video of this particular interview, but we did find a similar interview that he gave to a reporter on ABC-TV that covered some of the same bases. Here it is for your enjoyment.