Thursday, January 31, 2019

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Gilda Radner as Emily Litella with an Editorial Response on Violins on TV



Thursdays are special days at Jewish Humor Central because we try to bring you a golden oldie as a throwback to the days when TV comedy skits were creative and funny and clean.
 
Today's throwback skit goes back 43 years to 1976 when the late, great Gilda Radner was riding high on Saturday Night Live with her brilliant cast of invented characters. 


One of our favorites was Emily Litella, an elderly woman with a hearing problem who appeared 26 times on SNL's Weekend Update op-ed segment in the late 1970s.

Attired in a frumpy dress, sweater and Lisa Loopner glasses, Litella was introduced with professional dignity by the news anchors, who could sometimes be seen cringing slightly in anticipation of the malapropisms they knew would follow. These sketches were, in part, a parody of the Fairness Doctrine, which at the time required broadcasters in the United States to present opposing viewpoints on public issues.


In this skit, Radner gives an editorial response about parents objecting to violins on television. Finally, Chevy Chase informs her the story was actually about the "violence" on televisions, not violins. 


Enjoy!


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#Throwback Thursday       #TBT


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Comedy Showcase: Orthodox Comic Eli Lebowicz at Standup NY


We last posted a stand-up comedy routine by Eli Lebowicz in 2012, when he was a senior at Yeshiva University. Since then, Eli has been performing at comedy clubs in New York City, college campuses along the East Coast, synagogue dinners, Passover programs, and Jewish events where there's food.

Eli's comedy is becoming popular with audiences that are looking for funny but clean humor, a combination that's becoming harder to find these days. He will be performing this Saturday night, February 2, at a Chabad of Orange County Comedy Night in Goshen, New York.

Here's Eli performing recently for a Jewish audience at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

A Gogl Mogl - Bubbe's Recipe for the Common Cold


The Gogl-Mogl, sometimes spelled guggle-muggle, is a hot foamy drink imported from Eastern Europe. Its adherents wax poetic about its miraculous ability to cure colds and sore throats.

From time to time, we see references to it on Jewish websites. Yesterday we came across a new video showing how to prepare it on the Yiddish Forward website and since we're in the middle of winter and flu season, we thought we'd share it with you today.

Maybe it's the honey, the hot milk, or the raw egg that's the active ingredient, but we think it's the shot of whiskey, rum, brandy, or Slivovitz that does the trick. Curiously, this last ingredient is not even mentioned in the recipe presented in Yiddish with English titles by Eve Jochnowitz in the video.

L'chaim!

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Monday, January 28, 2019

A Joke to Start the Week - "Hearing Aid"


It's another Monday, start of another work week, and time for another Joke to Start the Week. Today we're once again dipping into the treasure chest called Old Jews Telling Jokes for a joke that, like all Jewish jokes, you've probably heard before. But every time a joke is told by a different joke teller, it sounds new again.

Today's joke is told by attorney Jesse Cohen. Here's the setup: This guy goes to the doctor for a hearing aid. The doctor fits him up. He goes home, and the next morning he calls the doctor. And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Kicking Off the Florida Comedy and Entertainment Season - Right Here!


The winter season in South Florida is known for its bounty of stand-up comedy and entertainment. It may not be the Catskills, but it certainly comes close in bringing fun to all the snowbirds who migrate to warmer weather each winter.

We're getting ready to spend the rest of this winter in the swimming pool and beaches by day, and in clubhouses and entertainment venues at night from Miami Beach to West Palm Beach.

We're also doing six shows of our own for senior groups in Deerfield Beach resort hotels and a 90 minute special lecture on The Great Jewish Comedians at Florida Atlantic University on March 6. It's almost sold out, so we hope you'll be able to get tickets and join us there.

We'll kick off the season with the opening number of a Kosher Comedy Tour in Coral Springs a few years ago starring Sharon Daniels, Stu Moss, and Peter Fogel. It features "Jewish F Words": Farklempt, Fardreyt, Farmished, Farblunget, Fartumelt, Farbissen, and more.

From now through March we'll be sharing some video clips of comedians and entertainers who are performing this season in Florida.

Enjoy!

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Friday, January 25, 2019

Welcoming Shabbat with Adon Olam and Musicians from Sydney, Australia


We've been posting versions of Adon Olam from all over the world but we think this is the first one from Australia.  Various musicians have pooled their talents to produce this version in support of Kesser Torah College in Sydney, Australia.

Kesser Torah is actually an Orthodox Day School. It offers a unique education in Sydney: an authentic Torah education together with a rigorous General Studies program. The education is further reinforced by the Torah values that permeate every aspect of the school day – and beyond. 

The school provides a consistency of meaning and purpose: a Torah-true compass that offers them a roadmap, not only for their childhood and teenage years, but for life.

Their students and faculty can also sing. Here's their take on Adon Olam set to the Simon and Garfunkel melody Scarborough Fair

Enjoy, and Shabbat Shalom! 

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Rare 1929 George Burns and Gracie Allen Skit - "Lambchops"



George Burns and Gracie Allen worked together as a successful comedy team that entertained vaudeville, film, radio, and television audiences for over 40 years. 
The duo met in 1922 and married in 1926. Burns was the straight man and Allen was a silly, addle-headed woman. 

Their 30-minute radio show debuted in September 1934 as The Adventures of Gracie, whose title changed to The Burns and Allen Show in 1936; the series ran, moving back and forth between NBC and CBS, until May 1950. 

After their radio show's cancellation, Burns and Allen reemerged on television with a popular situation comedy, which ran from 1950 to 1958.
We found an old short movie skit called Lambchops that Burns and Allen made in 1929.

Enjoy!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Hava Nagila Around the World: Brazilian Girls Choir Sing the Classic Hebrew Song


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Our collection of renditions of Hava Nagila keeps growing and growing. Since we started Jewish Humor Central in October 2009, we've posted 71 different versions from around the world.
 
Today we're adding a 72nd version by Meninas Cantoras de Petrópolis, a pioneer Brazilian musical group composed exclusively of girls, founded in 1976, in the city of Petrópolis.

After a rigid evaluation of capabilities for Music, which starts at the early age of seven and lasts three years long studying theory and vocal techniques, the girls are tested and  integrated into the choir. 

The girls have in their repertoire songs of varied genres, which they evolve into new melodies and travel with them throughout the country. They also perform with most of the Brazilian musical artists, and they also include songs of international musicians such as John Lennon, Burt Bacharach, and theBee Gees.

...and Hava Nagila. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Comedy Showcase - Introducing Noam Shuster Eliassi, London's New Jewish Comedian of the Year


Stand-up comedian Noam Shuster-Eliassi is the daughter of an Iranian-born Jewish mother, and a father who was born in Jerusalem to Holocaust survivor parents from Romania.

A month ago she was named “Best New Jewish Comedian of the Year” in a competition sponsored by London’s JW3 Jewish Community Center.  

Much of her comedy relates to her atypical Israeli upbringing and lifestyle. As a tall, dark-skinned woman who speaks Hebrew and Arabic fluently, with a name that is more commonly a boy's name, she entertains audiences with stories about her grandmother, parents, and cousins.

As Tzafi Haar wrote in Haaretz,
Recently, comedian Noam Shuster-Eliassi gave one of her most fraught standup performances in East Jerusalem, before an entirely Palestinian audience. After the standup comedian who had invited her there, Amer Zahr, introduced her to the audience (“Today for the first timewe have a Jewish sister with us”), the tension reached a peak, she says.
“I go up, in front of an audience of 300 people, and in front there are two guys sitting with their arms crossed, looking at me angrily. I looked straight at them and said: ‘Don’t worry. I’ll be here for seven minutes, not 70 years.’ That broke the ice immediately. I left the stage in tears – I hadn’t expected such love.”

Enjoy!
 
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Monday, January 21, 2019

Today is Tu B'Shvat - Plant a Tree and Eat Fruits and Nuts from israel

Today is the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat, also known as Tu B'Shvat.  No, it's not another fast day.  It's a real holiday, but one without any restrictions.  The holiday is known as Jewish Arbor Day and the New Year for trees.  It's a day to feel good about the bounty of nature, including trees, fruits and nuts.

It is customary to eat fruits on this day, especially fruits from Israel.  This includes figs, dates, oranges, pomegranates, and persimmons or Sharon fruit (afarsimonim).  All are available at most supermarkets or gourmet groceries.

Trees have been very important to Israel from its earliest beginnings.  From the tree of knowledge of good and evil described in Genesis to the eucalyptus trees planted in the Huleh Valley to drain the swamps and make much of the land inhabitable early in the 20th century, trees have always been part of Jewish life.

Yaakov Kirschen, the political cartoonist whose daily Dry Bones comic strips have appeared in The Jerusalem Post since January 1973, is using his talents to highlight the value of trees to everyone, and especially to the Jewish people, throughout the millennia.
In addition to his cartoons, which are also published in his daily blog, Kirschen has written a book in comic book format, Trees...The Green Testament, that illustrates the history of the world as narrated by a tree.  The tree, from its days as a seed and a sapling, observes and comments on world events from its own perspective.

The book is now in its second edition and available on Amazon.com.

Here's a Keren Kayemet L'Yisrael (Jewish National Fund) video tribute to the tree planting that's going on today all over Israel by students, soldiers, seniors, Knesset members, visitors, immigrants, and local residents. Enjoy!



Sunday, January 20, 2019

Tumbalalaika Around the World - An Interpretation by the Female Choir of Ferrara, Italy



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. It seems to be especially popular in Italy.

This rendition of Tumbalalaika was recorded by the SonArte Female Choir, a musical and artistic project of the SonArte musical and cultural association of Ferrara, a city in northern Italy between Venice and Bologna. It started in October 2010 and includes a large group of women engaged in different professional and social fields, moved by the desire to sing together.

The choir offers a musical space to all women who have the desire to sing together and perform a predominantly popular repertoire. They are all songs from different cultures: Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, United States, Senegal, South Africa, Italy, etc. From its creation the choir has performed in different events and cultural and solidarity events organized by public bodies and cultural associations of Ferrara and other Italian cities.


The English translation appears under the video on this page.

Enjoy!


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Tumbalalaika - English Translation


A young lad stands, and he thinks
Thinks and thinks the whole night through

Whom to take and not to shame
Whom to take and not to shame

Tumbala, Tumbala, Tumbalalaika
Tumbala, Tumbala, Tumbalalaika
Tumbalalaika, strum balalaika
Tumbalalaika, may we be happy

Girl, girl, I want to ask of you
What can grow, grow without rain?
What can burn and never end?
What can yearn, cry without tears?

Foolish lad, why do you have to ask?
A stone can grow, grow without rain
Love can burn and never end
A heart can yearn, cry without tears














Friday, January 18, 2019

Welcoming Shabbat with Adon Olam at Har-El Reform Synagogue in Jerusalem


Not every synagogue in Jerusalem is Orthodox. In fact, Kehilat Har-El, a reform shul, just celebrated its 61st anniversary at its home in central Jerusalem.

Kehilat Har-El, established in 1958, is the founding congregation of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism. 

Located in a classic pre-state style building (next to the Artists’ House), it serves as a home for Jewish Renewal through prayer, study, social justice, culture, and art.  
 
Last week, the Har-El choir, conducted by Cantor Evan Cohen and accompanied by harpist Gittit Boasson. sang Adon Olam, arranged by Bonia Shur as part of the Shabbat evening service in honor of the anniversary.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Sid Caesar and Nanette Fabray in "The Commuters - Nan's Birthday"


When Your Show of Shows was canceled in 1954, Sid Caesar started a new show called Caesar's Hour. The popular series of sketches called The Hickenloopers, about a bickering married couple, was recast as The Commuters, with Nanette Fabray playing Sid's wife as Imogene Coca had played in The Hickenloopers.

In this episode of The Commuters, "Nan's Birthday", Sid writes a song for Nan's birthday, but when his friends bring her wrapped gifts, Sid gets embarrassed into an expensive evening at a posh nightclub. Sid's sidekicks Carl Reiner and Howard Morris are also in the sketch, and Henny Youngman makes a surprise appearance.

This episode is from Caesar's Hour in 1955. Sid Caesar died in 2014 at 91. Nanette Fabray died last year at the age of 98. We plan to share some of their other sketches with you in the coming months.

Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday    #TBT