Comedy

  • Rabbis Ditch the Davening for a Day to Deliver Sermons for the Funny Bone

    How many comedians have routines in which they allude to the 17th-century false messiah Shabbetai Tsvi? It’s a reference that only a rabbi could love, and last Tuesday night in Manhattan, a group of them came down from their bimahs and attempted to leave the audience rolling in the aisles. Rabbi Uri Cohen, 29, discussing… More ▸

  • Michael Jackson Thrills to the Beat As He Davens at Manhattan Synagogue

    It was only fitting that when Michael Jackson attended Shabbat services in New York, he would choose a synagogue known for its lively singing and dancing. Jackson, the reclusive pop star best known for early 1980s hits with elaborately choreographed videos such as “Billie Jean” and “Beat It,” showed up at Manhattan’s Carlebach Shul last… More ▸

  • Patriarch of Comedy’s First Family Still Entertaining After Five Decades

    Jerry Stiller won several awards for his portrayal of the irascible Frank Costanza on “Seinfeld” from 1993 to 1998. In a barking voice, he demanded that his TV son, George, and the other characters around him accede to his demands. In real life, his wife and other family members say, Stiller is quiet, low-key and… More ▸

  • Mystical Tradition Draws Stars for Rosh Hashanah Observances

    More than 2,500 adherents of Kabbalah centers around the world joined in celebration of Rosh Hashanah this year in what is believed to be the largest public gathering of followers of the mystical Jewish tradition in the United States. Billed as the “Rosh Hashanah of the Millennium,” the observances at the Anaheim Hilton hotel in… More ▸

  • Hbo Depicts Meyer Lansky Through a Very Jewish Filter

    "Meyer Lansky saw life entirely through a Jewish filter," says Richard Dreyfuss, who plays the legendary mobster in an upcoming HBO television special. "Lansky," scripted by David Mamet and airing Saturday at 8 p.m., picks up where the rash of early 1990s Hollywood films on Jewish gangsters left off — but with a difference. Whereas… More ▸

  • Film by Italian Comic Finds Beauty in Concentration Camp

    The creation of the new Holocaust comedy “Life Is Beautiful” began with an impromptu monologue from its Italian star and director, Roberto Benigni. Benigni was sitting with his co-writer in a Rome restaurant when he brainstormed a speech about a father convincing a son that their lives in a concentration camp are a game. It… More ▸

  • Comedian Alan King Picks a Peck of Kosher Pickles

    Did you hear the one about the comedian who went to a deli and ended up becoming a partner in a Florida kosher food venture? It’s no joke. Several months ago, Alan King, the legendary Borscht Belt comic, was eating a corned beef sandwich at a Boca Raton, Fla., deli when he became smitten with… More ▸