Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Comedy Showcase: Meet 82-Year Old Comedian Fay Susskind


Last week we shared a video of a stand-up performance by David Weiss, a news anchor on New York radio station WINS, who came in second in The Jewish Week's 20th annual Funniest Jewish Comedian contest. Today we're sharing a comedy routine by 82-year-old Fay Susskind, who also placed in the top tier of contestants.

As Avigayil Halpern wrote in The Jewish Week,
Fay Susskind, who turned 82 in April, was the picture of confidence. Petite, in a white dress decorated with pink and red flowers, Susskind joked about the experience of dating at her age: “If anyone has a stray grandfather lying around, and he can drive or has an Uber account, come see me after the show.”
And when Fay Susskind stumbled over a punch line, the audience’s encouragement bucked her up and she tried the joke again. “Why do married women gain more weight than single women? A single woman comes home, looks in the fridge, and goes to bed. A married woman comes home, looks in the bed, and goes to the fridge.” Susskind received the biggest applause of the night.
Enjoy!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tumbalalaika Around the World: The Boogie Woogie Kid


The Yiddish folk love song Tumbalalaika originated in Eastern Europe in the 19th century, but its exact origin is hard to pinpoint. That hasn't prevented it from being sung and played over and over, not only in places where Yiddish songs are sung, but just about everywhere in the world, in vocal and instrumental versions, in cabarets and in the movies.

Just as we have followed the songs Hava Nagila, Adon Olam, Hevenu Shalom Aleichem, and Abanibi as they took different forms as interpreted by a wide variety of singers, musicians, and dancers, we're continuing the series today that we started back in 2012, bringing you many interpretations of this universal courting and love song.  

This rendition of Tumbalalaika is by pianist/singer Matthew Ball. A former attorney, Matthew left the practice after he attended a hometown boogie-woogie festival.  He was so awestruck by the performances he saw that night, he left his career as an attorney to become a blues & boogie-woogie performing artist.  

Today Matthew is known online and on-stage as THE BOOGIE WOOGIE KID with a performance history that spans ten states, including everything from symphony appearances to Jazz and Blues festivals.

Enjoy!

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Monday, July 16, 2018

A Joke to Start the Week: "Haircut"


It's Monday again. Time for another joke to start the week. Today we're dipping into the archives of Old Jews Telling Jokes and finding one by lawyer Malcolm Busch.

Here's the setup: A fellow named Joe is at the barber shop. Dominic is his barber. He says "Dominic, I won't be here in three weeks for my usual haircut. The wife and I are taking a trip with her friends." And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sephardim vs. Ashkenazim - Part One: Prayer Differences


More than 2000 years ago Jerusalem was burned and the Temple destroyed. The Jewish People were exiled and lost their unity. In the diaspora, the Jewish People split into two -- the Sephardim and the Ashkenazim.

Although there is more that unites these two communities than divides them, the differences are interesting and sometimes funny. Today we're posting the first of two videos that highlight the different way the Sephardim and Ashkenazim express themselves in prayer. Later this week we'll take a look at how each group reacts to tasting the other's favorite ethnic foods.

Enjoy!

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Friday, July 13, 2018

Welcoming Shabbat with Lecha Dodi by FDD Vocal Ensemble


The FDD Vocal ensemble was established in 2017 and includes five singers who are graduates of the Israel military rabbinate band. They have been a huge success in Israel and around the world.

The vocalists also appear in events and performances as solo artists themselves and sing in a wide variety of languages ​​and musical styles, from authentic Chassidic music to contemporary world music.

For this week's Shabbat video, the FDD Vocal ensemble sings a unique multi-melodic version of Lecha Dodi, the hymn sung in the Kabbalat Shabbat service.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom.

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Throwback Thursday Comedy Showcase: Rodney Dangerfield on the Johnny Carson Show


It's another Throwback Thursday and we're taking you back 39 years to 1979 when Rodney Dangerfield made one of his appearances on the Johnny Carson show. 

In this ten minute episode he delivers a few minutes of standup comedy and shares lots of laughs with Carson.

Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday    #TBT


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Comedy Showcase: Meet David Weiss, News Anchor on New York Radio Station WINS


At the 20th annual Funniest Jewish Comedian Contest sponsored by The Jewish Week last month, comedian Mike Blech beat out nine other contestants to take first place with humorous stories about his relationships.

We searched YouTube for video clips of his performances, but couldn't find any that were family-friendly enough for this blog. But we did find a good performance by David Weiss, the runner-up in the contest.

Weiss is an anchor on WINS, the New York all-radio station, who voices its oft-repeated slogan "You give us 22 minutes, we give you the world." Here is a clip of him on stage last year in New York's Comic Strip Live.

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, July 10, 2018

World Jewish Congress Presents the Hatikvah Project


Thousands of people from 50 countries, of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds, have joined the World Jewish Congress in compiling a special gift of hope for the State of Israel, to celebrate 70 years of Independence – singing Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem, in one voice.

Enjoy!

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Monday, July 9, 2018

A Joke to Start the Week: "Shoveling Expert"


It's another Monday, and time to share another Joke to Start the Week. We're just back from a week at the Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Adult Vacation Center in Copake, New York, where we presented five hour-long programs of Jewish humor to the 100-or-so vacationers enjoying the fresh air.

We were also successful in finding a few joke tellers who volunteered a few oldie but goodie jokes to share with you. Today we're posting a joke by Ted Klein, a retired accountant with quite a collection of old jokes.

Here's the setup of today's joke: There's a sign on a stable saying "Help Wanted to Clean Horses' Stalls." On this particular Monday morning in walks a gentleman with a blue suit, white shirt, necktie, and an attache case." And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, July 8, 2018

Chelm Jokes: An Analysis by JTA's Andrew Silow-Carroll


There's more to many Jewish jokes than meets the eye. Andrew Silow-Carroll, editor-in-chief of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency has started a series of short YouTube videos in which he walks you through a classic Jewish joke and explains what it's all about.

This first video analyzes the jokes (actually stories) about the Wise Men of Chelm, an actual town in Poland that has become synonymous with so-called wisdom which actually turns out to be foolishness.

We'll bring you more of these analyses of classic Jewish jokes from time to time. We hope there will be more of them soon.

Enjoy!

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Friday, July 6, 2018

Welcoming Shabbat with Manchester's Whitefield Synagogue Choir Singing Adon Olam Aboard Flight to France


Last March Cantor Joseph Muller and the choir of the Whitefield Hebrew Congregation of Manchester, UK were on their way to France via Switzerland to perform at a choral concert. 

They were asked by the passengers and cabin crew to sing a song for everyone. They duly obliged with a rendition of Adon Olam and got a big round of applause.

Enjoy and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Danny Kaye as the Swedish Chef's Uncle on The Muppet Show


One of our favorite parts of The Muppet Show was when comedians and TV stars would appear in roles supporting the muppet characters and blending into the family of muppets. 

A good example of this is when Danny Kaye was introduced as the uncle of the Swedish Chef, a beloved muppet character, playing along with sight gags and vocalizations.

In this skit, Danny Kaye as the Swedish Chef's uncle, helps him prepare a live turkey.

Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday, #TBT

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy Birthday USA! Irving Berlin Sings His "God Bless America" in 1968


Irving Berlin when he wrote “God Bless America.”
Today we celebrate America's Independence Day, and also the 100th anniversary of God Bless America, the song first written in 1918 by Israel Balin, the Jewish Russian immigrant later to be known as Irving Berlin.

As Sheryl Kaskowitz wrote this week in The New York Times,
It was a desire to serve his adopted country during World War I that impelled the 30-year-old Berlin, already a successful songwriter, to be naturalized as a citizen in February 1918. That May, he began his military service as an army private at Camp Upton in Yaphank, N.Y., where he was asked to write a soldier show as a fund-raiser.
God Bless America was originally conceived as the finale for the revue, Yip, Yip, Yaphank, but Berlin ultimately decided not to include it. It was shelved and forgotten for 20 years, until he rediscovered the song and provided a revised version to the radio star Kate Smith, who sang it on Nov. 10, 1938, and reprised it weekly.

In this video, Berlin sings the song on The Ed Sullivan Show with Boy Scout and Girl Scout choirs on its 50th anniversary in 1968.

Enjoy!

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Video by The Ed Sullivan Show
Photo by the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Take the Yiddish Word Quiz with Amy Walker


How's your Yiddish? Well, BimBam, the nonprofit website that sparks connections to Judaism through digital storytelling for learners of all ages, went to Los Angeles to meet fellow YouTuber Amy Walker. They developed this gameshow-like video that teaches you popular Yiddish words.

We've always been surprised at how many Jews of all ages have a limited familiarity with the Yiddish language, so we're supporting websites, theatre, film, and other cultural venues that increase exposure to this rich and often funny language.

Amy Walker is an actress, singer and voiceover artist. She's been featured on TEDx, the TODAY Show, NPR, Inside Edition, and more. Her online videos have garnered over 40 million views on YouTube and beyond, from the viral "21 Accents", to memorable characters, songs, and inspirational insights.

Enjoy!

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Monday, July 2, 2018

A Joke to Start the Week - Mel Brooks Tells a Joke on Stage in Las Vegas


It's the first Monday in July, and we're up in the Berkshire Mountains performing five Jewish humor programs for seniors enjoying the summer at the Berkshire Hills Adult Vacation Center. 

We're also trying to find more joke tellers up here and more old jokes to share with you in the coming weeks and months. We'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, here's a joke to start the week told by one of the masters of the medium. Mel Brooks was on stage at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas a few months ago and he told this oldie but goodie.

Here's the setup: A guy walks into a public library and says "I want a cheeseburger, double french fries, and a large Coke." And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, July 1, 2018

South Africa Flash Mob Celebrates Israel's 70th Birthday


Celebrations of Israel's 70th birthday continue around the world. In Johannesburg, South Africa, the Israel embassy and the Jewish community united with the band Hatikva Shesh playing Hachi Israeli for a flash mob.

Participants included the Israel embassy in Pretoria, the South African Zionist Federation, together with Jewish schools and the Jewish Community of Johannesburg.

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.


Friday, June 29, 2018

Welcoming Shabbat with Adon Olam by Russia's Red Army Choir


The Alexandrov Ensemble, commonly known as the Red Army Choir in the West, is an official army choir of the Russian armed forces. Founded during the Soviet era, the ensemble consists of a male choir, an orchestra, and a dance ensemble.

The Ensemble has entertained audiences both in Russia and throughout the world, performing a range of music including folk tunes, hymns, operatic arias and popular music. The group's repertoire has included The Volga Boatmen's Song, Katyusha, Kalinka, and Ave Maria.

This week we're enlisting them to lead us in singing Adon Olam as we welcome another Shabbat. The video is of a performance at the Sultan's Pool in Jerusalem.

Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Danny Kaye - Master of Many Tongues


Danny Kaye (born David Daniel Kaminsky; 1911-1987) was an American actor, singer, dancer, and comedian. His performances featured physical comedy, idiosyncratic pantomimes, and rapid-fire novelty songs.

Kaye was born to Ukrainian Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn, the youngest of three boys for Jacob and Clara Nemerovsky Kaminsky. He was the only son born in the United States.

Kaye starred in 17 movies, notably Wonder Man (1945), The Kid from Brooklyn (1946), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), The Inspector General (1949), Hans Christian Andersen (1952), White Christmas (1954), and The Court Jester (1956).

In many of these movies, Kaye showed a great aptitude for foreign language double-talk, speaking rapidly in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Irish, and English. In this compilation from nine of these movies, he shows off this talent, which a decade later was perfected by Sid Caesar in his television shows.

Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday   #TBT

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Coming in July: Tevye Served Raw, Fiddler As It Was Written by Sholem Aleichem

Tevye Served Raw, an evening of stories by Sholem Aleichem., is coming to Broadway for only 18 performances in July and August. But it's not a musical.

Some of them are Tevye stories, and they’re beautiful and dramatic and funny.

Some of them are not Tevye stories, and those are just funny.  

But they all come right from the pen of Sholem Aleichem, who is pretty much universally considered the greatest Jewish writer ever.  

The Tevye stories are most famous, of course, as the basis of Fiddler on the Roof.  But the musical watered them down to make them more acceptable to the Broadway audience of its day.  Tevye Served Raw goes back to Sholem Aleichem’s original, and it shows you what they left out of Fiddler.  

It’s about authenticity.

Tevye Served Raw goes much deeper into what life in the shtetl -- where most American Jews’ ancestors come from -- was really like.  Plus you find out what happened to the characters after the plot of the musical ends.   
 
Tevye Served Raw is performed in English and Yiddish-with-English-supertitles.  And unlike the cast of the Yiddish Fiddler that will be playing at the Museum of Jewish Heritage from July 5 through August 26, the cast of Tevye Served Raw can actually speak the language.

Tevye Served Raw has been in development for over two years, and has been performed in Toronto, in Los Angeles, in Kiev, Ukraine, in Bethesda, MD, and in Massachusetts, among other places.  This is its first run in New York.

Enjoy!

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