Thursday, September 10, 2020

Video: Professional Jokers: Jewish Jesters from the Golden Age of American Comedy

 From the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research:

This panel discussion on Jews and comedy features comedian Robert Klein, comedy writer Alan Zweibel, 'Old Jewish Comedians' artist Drew Friedman, 'The Comedians' author Kliph Nesteroff, Jewish popular culture scholar Dr. Eddy Portnoy, and special surprise guest Gilbert Gottfried. This stellar panel was moderated by comedy writer Frank Santopadre.

In case you hadn't noticed, Jews have played a central role in American comedy. By the 1930s, acts like the the Marx Brothers and the Three Stooges became significant players in the world of comedy, launching a era during which Jewish comedians and writers became a major force in the world of humor. Dozens of legendary comics from Milton Berle to Jerry Lewis to Mel Brooks to Joan Rivers, among dozens and dozens of others, have earned a place in the pantheon of American comedy. YIVO's latest exhibit, "Professional Jokers: Jewish Jesters from the Golden Age of American Comedy," combines archival material from YIVO’s collection with artist Drew Friedman’s “Comedy Jewseum” to present photographs, posters and other rare ephemera on Jewish comedians in America.

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