“Trump’s Parade”

A SHORT PLAY by Joel Schechter   Characters include: Donald Trump . . . Army Sergeant  . . . Private . . . Kim Jong-un . . . White Horse . . . Big Button . . . White House Hairdresser . . . Chocolate Cake (kosher) . . . Miss Universe   Trump:  I want a parade with a million soldiers saluting their […]

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Jack Benny

Jack Benny (Benjamin Kubelsky) was born in Chicago, Illinois, on this date in 1894. His parents were immigrants from Poland and Lithuania. One of America’s favorite comedians in vaudeville, on radio and TV, and in film, Benny was married to Sadye Marks, who some say was a cousin of the Marx Brothers and who played his […]

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George Burns

George Burns (Naftaly — later Nathan — Birnbaum) was born in New York City on this date in 1896 to a family that had immigrated from what is now southeastern Poland. He quit school in the fourth grade to become an entertainer. Burns’ vaudeville career was floundering until he met Gracie Allen in 1923 (they would […]

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Christmas with the Trumps. Khanike, Too.

A SHORT PLAY by Joel Schechter (Donald Trump enters dressed as Santa Claus, backed by scenery of  a Christmas tree forest, a sleigh, and one red-nosed reindeer. Trump hands out axes to audience members.) Trump:  It’s Christmas time, America! And I’m giving you a big, beautiful Christmas present. Ivanka: It’s a Khanike gift, too. Alt-Right Torch […]

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O My America: Charlie Chaplin Speaks

by Lawrence Bush I GOT IN THE MOOD for Charlie Chaplin tonight, and I watched The Great Dictator for the first time in many years. This prescient 1940 film combines satire, both brilliant and low-brow, with balletic slapstick, sentimental shtik, wonderfully simple stage-settings, and chillingly relevant political insight. The speech that Chaplin delivers at the film’s end […]

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The Man with the Popping Eyes

Comedian Marty Feldman, a Brit who became known to American audiences playing Igor, Gene Wilder‘s laboratory sidekick in Mel Brooks‘ Young Frankenstein, died at 48 on this date in 1982. His parents were emigrants from Kiev. Feldman suffered from thyroid disease and Graves’ ophthalmopathy, which caused his eyes to protrude and misalign — a very weird physical attribute […]

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2017 and Still Curbing Our Enthusiasm

by Alessio Franko   IN CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM’S eighth season, Larry David, playing his ever-thinly fictionalized self (we’ll call him “LD” and assume that the two really are separable), boards a plane to New York City, literally fleeing a tedious social obligation in Los Angeles. He eyes the drink that the woman next to him in first […]

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Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart (Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz), who became a household name through his work on The Daily Show, was born in New York City on this date in 1962. Stewart hosted, wrote for, and executive-produced the comedy show from 1999 until 2015, turning it into a major source of news, information and progressive political perspectives for the cable TV […]

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OpEdge: Trump’s Stand-Up Shtik

THE JOKE IS ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE by Marc Jampole   AT FIRST LISTEN, Donald Trump’s speaking style when he eschews the teleprompter seems chaotically free form, as if he had tossed a few dozen tweets and sound bites into one of his “Make America Great Again” caps and picked a few out, one at a […]

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Can Satire Undermine Donald Trump?

THE INCONSISTENCY OF THE PRESIDENT SHOW by Alessio Franko WATCHING Donald J. Trump descend a hotel escalator in June 2015 to announce his presidential run, an ecstatic Jon Stewart called it “comedy hospice.” Stewart would glide through the final weeks of his legendary seventeen-year stint at The Daily Show, slinging jokes that practically wrote themselves about […]

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