Monday, September 23, 2019

A Joke to Start the Week - "Dallas Haberdashery Store"


We were lucky to discover a collection of more jokes from the talented Toronto joke tellers who put on a performance of Jewish Folks Telling Jokes, a night of comedy to benefit Jewish Family and Child, one of the foremost Jewish service agencies in North America.

We previously posted a few jokes that were told at the event, a Canadian contribution to the world of Jewish humor, probably inspired by the off-Broadway show Old Jews Telling Jokes, still touring around the USA.

We'll be posting some of these jokes on upcoming Mondays. Here's another oldie but goodie, told by Al Fitleberg.

Here's the setup: Chaim and Moishe owned a haberdashery store in downtown Dallas. They were talking and said "You know, it's already 40 years that we're in this business. It's already time we should sell the place, live a little, and go for a trip." And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Disney Announces its First (Sephardic) Jewish Princess


The Disney organization announced that its first Jewish princess will appear on the Disney Channel in a Chanukah-themed episode of its series Elena of Avalor.

The role of the animated Sephardic princess will be voiced by Jewish actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who appeared on The Sopranos as Meadow Soprano.  

As The Times of Israel reported this week,
The princess, still to be named, will appear on the Disney Channel series “Elena of Avalor” in December. The Hanukkah-themed episode will feature a visiting princess who is from a “Latino Jewish kingdom,” the Disney Channel announced. 

The series centers on Princess Elena Castillo Flores, a 16-year-old who saves her kingdom from an evil sorceress. For the past two seasons, the teenager has been learning to govern Avalor. The third season launches in October. 

In the video below Cheddar TV's Kim Murstein and Azia Celestino discuss Disney's move to expand representation and become more inclusive. 

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Friday, September 20, 2019

Welcoming Shabbat with Beit T'shuvah Congregation and Shalom Aleichem a la Frank Sinatra



Beit T'shuvah in Los Angeles calls itself "a Congregation Like No Other" and certainly organizes Kabbalat Shabbat services like no other congregation.

Over the years we have posted some of their liturgical selections set to tunes of the Beatles and Country and Western stars. They specialize in Shabbat services of other popular culture genres as well.

Last July they conducted a service with most of the tefilot set to songs made famous by Frank Sinatra. Would you believe Fly Me to the Moon as Shalom Aleichem?

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Victor Borge Plays Happy Birthday in Classical Composer Styles


We never get tired of watching the mischievous piano comedy antics of the great Victor Borge, the Danish comedian, conductor and pianist who achieved great popularity in radio and television in the United States and Europe.

His blend of music and comedy earned him the nickname "The Clown Prince of Denmark","The Unmelancholy Dane", and "The Great Dane."
 
He was born as Borge Rosenbaum to a Jewish family in Copenhagen. His parents were both musicians. He began piano lessons at the age of two, and it was soon apparent that he was a prodigy.

In this video clip from 1951, Borge played Happy Birthday in the styles of Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Brahms, Wagner, Beethoven, Strauss, Mozart, Irving Berlin, and Shostakovich.

Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday   #TBT

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Comedy Showcase: British Comedian Ashley Blaker on Circumcision


We've become big fans of Ashley Blaker, the British Orthodox comedian who's been getting rave reviews on his stand-up tours and requests for more video clips from our readers.

He has previously performed two sell-out tours of the UK (Ungefiltered and Meshuga Frum) to great acclaim and toured his comedy across Israel and South Africa. He started performing in USA with a sold-out show at New York's Gramercy Theatre.

In June Ashley performed in London and included a bit about the circumcision of his son, explaining the little known custom of burying the foreskin under a tree.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Jewish Traces in Unexpected Places: Inside Nigeria's Jewish Community


There are currently 26 synagogues of various sizes in Nigeria. An estimated 30,000 Igbos were practicing some form of Judaism in 2008.

Some Nigerian communities with Judaic practices have been receiving help from individual Israelis and American Jews who work in Nigeria, out-reach organizations like Kulanu, and African-American Jewish communities in America. Jews from outside Nigeria founded two synagogues in Nigeria, which are attended and maintained by Igbos. Because no formal census has been taken in the region, the number of Igbos in Nigeria who identify as either Israelites or Jews is not known. 

Seven years ago we posted a portion of a documentary called Re-emerging: The Jews of Nigeria.

The Israeli TV Station i24 News recently broadcast an update on the Jews of Nigeria. Here is their video on the subject.

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Monday, September 16, 2019

A Joke to Start the Week - "Almost"


We were lucky to discover a collection of more jokes from the talented Toronto joke tellers who put on a performance of Jewish Folks Telling Jokes, a night of comedy to benefit Jewish Family and Child, one of the foremost Jewish service agencies in North America.

We previously posted a few jokes that were told at the event, a Canadian contribution to the world of Jewish humor, probably inspired by the off-Broadway show Old Jews Telling Jokes, still touring around the USA.

We'll be posting some of these jokes on upcoming Mondays. Here's another oldie but goodie.
Here's the setup: An artist's studio served hors d'oeuvres and wine at night. So I said to the couple we're with "Let's go in." So we go in. And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Hava Nagila Around the World: Yoonseok Lee Plays Onstage in South Korea


Harmonica music is not usually performed by a solo performer in concert. Its unique style is not only present in original compositions but throughout many different genres.

Yoonseok Lee, a Korean harmonica virtuoso, has a repertoire that ranges from popular and folk music to original compositions and contemporary music, from Bach to the Beatles.

And now he has incorporated Hava Nagila into his recitals.

Born in 1992 in South Korea, Yoonseok Lee started learning the harmonica at the age of 11 and majored in musicology at the Seoul National University where he graduated in 2017. In 2012, he gave his first public recital and orchestral debut.

In this video, Yoonseok Lee plays Hava Nagila with piano accompaniment. 

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Welcoming Shabbat at Emanuel Synagogue in Sydney, Australia


For today's welcoming Shabbat video, let's take a trip to Sydney, Australia and the Emanuel Synagogue's Shabbat Live service, which is conducted every Friday evening at 6:15 pm.

Established in 1938, Emanuel Synagogue is a pluralist community affiliated with the Masorti, Progressive and Renewal movements.

The Shabbat service in this video was recorded on November 29, 2013. It welcomed USA guest star Joshua Nelson "The Prince of Kosher Gospel", along with Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio, Martin Yafe and the Shabbat Live Band. Martin Yafe now directs programs at the YM-YMHA in Washington Heights, New York.

While attending Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Nelson started blending Hebrew texts with gospel melodies and arranging Jewish hymns in gospel style, resulting in solo CDs like "Hebrew Soul" (2004) and "Mi Chamocha" (2005). 

Both of Nelson’s parents are Jewish, and his family attended temple at a black synagogue in Brooklyn, then switched to Sharey Tefilo-Israel, in South Orange, New Jersey, a reform synagogue with a liberal reputation.
Together with the synagogue rabbi and cantor Nelson leads the congregation in Shalom Aleichem and Motown versions of Mi Chamocha and Adon Olam.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Throwback Thursday Comedy Classics: Sid Caesar in Gallipacci, a Spoof of the Opera Pagliacci


First telecast on Caesar's Hour on October 10, 1955 on NBC, this kinescoped sketch is a take-off on the Italian opera Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo. Sid plays the role of "Gallipacci" ("Canio" in the real opera) an actor in a traveling Italian comedia dell'arte troupe during the late 19th century. 

His wife "Rosa" ("Nedda" in the actual opera), who is played by singer and comedienne Nanette Fabray, falls in love with fellow actor "Emilio" (the opera's "Silvio" character), performed by Carl Reiner, and they make plans to elope. Sid sings a rendition of songs in a gibberish Italian dialect which he picked up in his youth from waiting tables at his father's 24-hour blue-collar diner in Yonkers, New York. 

Straying off of the real opera's musical score just a bit, we hear hilariously bastardized renditions of Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Cole Porter's Begin the Beguine, and Take Me Out to the Ball Game among others. Howie Morris (Ernest T. Bass from "The Andy Griffith Show") is "Vesuvio" (whose real opera character is "Tonio") and he performs a parody song and dance rountine to the tune If I Know What You Know

In one of the most famous "saves" in the history of live television, Sid was supposed to paint a teardrop on his cheek when the mascara pencil broke at the beginning of his nonsense rendition of Just One of Those Things. Not breaking his stride, Sid proceeds to pick up one of Nanette's lip brushes and paints an unscripted tic-tac-toe board on his face.  

The grand finale concluded with a variation of the song The Yellow Rose of Texas after Gallipacci takes care of the situation along the lines of a Mafia hit. Also, in the early days of live television, one time "specials" which pre-empted regular series programs were initially called "spectaculars". Listen for a young Don Pardo introducing the sketch.

Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday    #TBT

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Comedy Showcase: Meet SJ Tannenbaum, Stand-up Comedian and Impressionist


SJ Tannenbaum is a 22-year-old comedian, impressionist, rapper, and entertainer. His specialty is celebrity impressions. 

He was a participant in the Funniest Jewish Comedian Contest at the Broadway Comedy Club in June.

In this video clip, he reflects on the different treatments coach and first-class airline passengers get from flight attendants, and imagines a gemara learning session with Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Comedy Showcase: Australian Comic Michael Shafar on Unexpected Ratings and Reviews


The Melbourne Jewish Comedy Festival is a showcase of the very best of Jewish humour in Australia. One of Australia's best Jewish comedians is Michael Shafar.

Michael started out with a law degree, but decided he didn't want to work in an office all day. So he became a standup comedian.

We recently posted a clip of Michael contrasting Jewish holidays with Australian holidays. Here's another clip with Michael reading unexpected online ratings and reviews by vistors at the JFK gravesite and the Holocaust Museum.

Enjoy!

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Monday, September 9, 2019

A Joke to Start the Week - "A Bargain Fan"


A few years ago, Toronto's Koerner Hall was the site of a performance of Jewish Folks Telling Jokes, a night of comedy to benefit Jewish Family and Child, one of the foremost Jewish service agencies in North America.

Jewish Family and Child supports the healthy development of individuals, children, families, and communities through prevention, protection, counselling, education and advocacy services, within the context of Jewish values.

We previously posted a few jokes that were told at the event, a Canadian contribution to the world of Jewish humor, probably inspired by the off-Broadway show Old Jews Telling Jokes, still touring around the USA.

We were lucky to discover a collection of more jokes from these talented Toronto joke tellers, and we'll be sharing some of them in future posts of A Joke to Start the Week.

This week's joke is told in Yiddish, with simultaneous translation into English.

Here's the setup: It was once a very hot day, and a woman went for a walk. All of a sudden she saw a man who was selling fans. And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, September 8, 2019

Musical Showcase: Kol Esperanza Sings "Jerusalem of Gold" in 3 Languages



Kol Esperanza is a new young operatic pop trio, founded as a power-vocal group to perform classical songs, opera great hits, standards, Broadway hits and music that can bridge different generations and audiences around the world. 

Kol Esperanza consists of Israeli singers Nimrod Grinboim, Nadav Inbar, and Omer Shaish together with Musical Director Tomer Adaddi. The group started performing in 2014 and have been touring worldwide.

We saw them in February 2017 during our winter tour of South Florida. They will be performing again in South Florida next winter.

In this video they sing Jerusalem of Gold in Hebrew, English, and Spanish.

Enjoy!

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Friday, September 6, 2019

Welcoming Shabbat with Shalom Aleichem and Adon Olam by Brazilian Singer Fortuna


Fortunee Safdié Joyce is a Brazilian Jewish singer and composer who performs under the name Fortuna. She has been studying the Sephardic repertoire since 1992. Fortuna has recorded seven CDs and one DVD since then. 

Fortuna sings mainly in Hebrew and Ladino, a language used by Sephardi Jews who inhabited the Iberian Peninsula until the fifteenth century, at which time they were expelled by the Catholic Monarchs and scattered through several countries of the Mediterranean basin. 

In this video, Fortuna sings two Shabbat songs, Shalom Aleichem and Adon Olam.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, September 5, 2019

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Buddy Hackett Tells Johnny Carson About His Mother's Chulent


Every Thursday we take a walk down memory lane to find a video clip that made us laugh so many years ago and that continues to be a source of smiles and laughter.

Buddy Hackett is one of our favorites, and from the comments you've made on previous postings, he's one of your favorites, too. He appeared many times on The Johnny Carson show, and we have shared many video clips of those shows on Jewish Humor Central over the past few years.

In this episode on the Johnny Carson show from July 1974, Buddy tells Johnny about his mother's chulent and reads poems from The Naked Mind of Buddy Hackett, a book of poetry that he wrote back in 1974.

In the book, Buddy has something to say about nearly everything. Each of his poems expresses unusual insight and a respect for personal individuality. And each, he says, was inspired by a a specific person or event. He's saved them over the years-on scraps of paper and restaurant napkins-and the whole collection is here in his book, which is now out of print.


Enjoy! 


 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Jiminy Glick (Martin Short) Interviews Mel Brooks in a Talk Show Parody


In May 2003, comedian Martin Short, playing his role as interviewer Jiminy Glick, got to ask comedy legend Mel Brooks a series of questions about his life and his most popular shows.

The interview was one of many conducted by Short wearing a fat suit on his series of talk show parodies. The common thread of the interviews, which ran from 2001 to 2003 on TV, was that the Glick character usually knows nothing about his guests and hurls veiled insults at them during his interviews.

The interview covered many bases and aspects of Brooks' life, including living in poverty in Brooklyn and singing Dancing in the Dark in the wrong key in the Catskills. 

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Comedy Showcase: Elon Gold Performs at the StandWithUs Israel Dinner in NYC



StandWithUs is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to informing the public about Israel and to combating the extremism and anti-Semitism that often distorts the issues. 
Its core belief is that knowledge of the facts will correct common prejudices about the Arab-Israeli conflict, and will promote discussions and policies that can help promote peace in the region. 

Every year StandWithUs has an anuual dinner and the emcee has frequently been standup comedian Elon Gold.

Here is Elon's opening act at the 4th annual dinner in New York City, in which he highlights differences between Israelis and Jews

Enjoy!


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