Miriam Borenstein, 27, had a great line about online dating. Saul Daiell, 33, joked about teaching. But in the end, “High-Powered” Howard Newman took home the title of Funniest Jewish Comedian in the annual contest sponsored by The Jewish Week.
Before a packed house at the Broadway Comedy Club on West 53rd Street, Newman, 58, performed a song about kosher food. He also railed against acronyms at the June 29 event.
“Today I went in my SUV, I went to CVS to buy some DVDs and CDs but they ran out. They said they’d send it to me UPS COD. I’m driving home … I went to KFC — that made me sick. I went to the ER, they gave me CPR and an EKG …”
The Queens resident developed ‘Jokesercise’, combining fitness and comedy for seniors at assisted living centers.
Borenstein, who took second place, is a Judaic studies teacher at Yeshiva University High School for Girls. She delivered one of the best lines of the night with an unexpected analogy.
“I’m trying to get married,” she said. “I am doing a lot of the online dating. It’s kind of like walking into a public restroom. You’re not sure what you’re gonna get. It could be clean, dirty, out of order …”
Borenstein said she doesn’t plan on quitting her day job, but is excited to gain experience in stand-up.
“There were some questions when I started,” she said after the show. “But I wanted to show I can do clean comedy that’s funny.”
Daiell, who is from Queens, said the new system of evaluating teachers should first be tested on animals. He goes by the moniker of “Saul Good” and said public school teaching isn’t easy.
“Teaching can be a tough job,” said Daiell, who took third place. “I know my rabbi once told me that I’m one of the chosen people. I don’t think my boss got the memo.”
Along with the amateur comedians, funnyman Geoff Kole, who produces the event, added to the show seasoned comics such as “Circumcise Me” writer Yisroel Campbell. Campbell joked about his conversion to Judaism.
“I was Catholic enough to know I was going to hell, so I switched religions,” Campbell said. “That’s a Yiddishe kup (Jewish head).”
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He also mocked haredi Jews for their carrying accessory.
“What is it with the plastic bag, right?” he asked. “[You spend] $3,000 on a fur hat, you can’t spend fifty bucks on a canvas bag?”
Past contest winner Stuart Rappaport explained that people give the Five Towns a bad rap as being snooty, while ignoring that they fundraise for families.
Veteran comic Cory Kahaney riffed on her choice of a husband.
“I did marry a Jewish man, which really ends up meaning two things,” she said. “It means that my parents are very happy and that I have to hire someone named Carlos to come and fix anything that breaks.”
She also spoke of two “women of the night” who give pleasure to older men in Florida.One woman boasts she made $100 in one night:
“And the second one says: ‘Gross?’ And the first one says, ‘No. Schwartz.’”