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Bye, Bye, Boys’ Club

WOMEN IN AN EXPANDING COMEDY SCENE by Raina Lipsitz From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   COMEDY has become for the millennial generation what rock and roll was for baby boomers — the fantasy career option. Thousands of people pay upwards of $50 a class for improvisational and sketch comedy classes (organizations such as New […]

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Lewis Black

The ranting and raging comedian Lewis Black was born in Washington, DC on this date in 1948. He earned an MFA from the Yale School of Drama in 1977 and began his career as a playwright-in-residence and associate artistic director at a theater in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, where he collaborated with composer and lyricist Rusty Magee and artistic […]

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David Rakoff’s American Life

David Rakoff, a Canadian-born gay writer who was a regular contributor to National Public Radio’s “This American Life” and published three bestselling volumes of essays, died at 47 on this date in 2012. Rakoff’s grandparents fled Latvia and Lithuania for South Africa at the turn of the 20th century; his parents left South Africa in 1961 and moved […]

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“A Lost Lag B’Omer,” by Sholem Aleichem

translated from the Yiddish by Curt Leviant 1. OUR REBBI, Nissel the Short (he was called that, you see, on account of his small stature), was led by the nose by his assistants, who did absolutely as they pleased. If the first assistant came along and declared that the children should be dismissed early, Nissel […]

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Channel Esther: The Last Laugh

by Esther Cohen Discussed in this essay: The Last Laugh, documentary film directed, photographed and edited by Ferne Pearlstein, with jokes by Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Sarah Silverman, Robert Clary, Rob Reiner, Louie C.K., Susie Essman, Harry Shearer, Jeffrey Ross, Alan Zweibel, Gilbert Gottfried, Judy Gold, Larry Charles, David Steinberg, Abe Foxman, Lisa Lampenelli and […]

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The President’s Burqa

A SCENE FROM THE UNDERREPORTED LIFE OF DONALD TRUMP By Joel Schechter [Note:  The scene that follows is composed of alternative facts that have not yet been reported. It was first performed with puppets at the Internet Archive, San Francisco, on Febraury 17, 2017.] Narrator:  Our story begins with a recommendation from the President’s press […]

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Pence’s Dybbuk

A SHORT PLAY by Joel Schechter [Note:  On February 22, Vice President Mike Pence visited a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis where gravestones had been desecrated. He helped a community group restore the headstones. The rest of the story is told here for the first time.] Trump:  I’m sending you to Missouri on a special […]

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In Memoriam: Irwin Corey

by Bennett Muraskin “THE WORLD’S FOREMOST AUTHORITY,” Irwin Corey, has died at the ripe old age of 102. His shtik was to impersonate a professor spouting intellectual gibberish. He typically started his shpil with “However,” and, after a barrage of wordy non-sequiturs, ended it by asking “What was the question?” Typically in the course of […]

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