Orthodox Day School Upset at Raunchy 12-Year-Old Comic Josh Orlian

Kippah Kid Cracked Up 'America's Got Talent' With Racy Jokes

america's got talent

By Miriam Moster

Published June 26, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(JTA) — Josh Orlian cracked up the judges on “America’s Got Talent,” but his Orthodox day school wasn’t laughing.

The 12-year-old kippah-wearing comic made his national television debut with a raunchy routine packed with sexual innuendo. The show’s celebrity judges and studio audience seemed both stunned and entertained by the pre-bar-mitzvah-age cut-up’s dirty jokes.

While the sixth-grader’s shtick garnered the approval of the four judges — they unanimously advanced him to the competition’s next round — it drew a reproach from his suburban New York yeshiva, Westchester Day School.

“The message conveyed by such a performance was entirely contrary to the Modern Orthodox values taught and lived at WDS,” the school’s head, Rabbi Joshua Lookstein, wrote in an email sent last week to parents that was obtained by JTA. “The student and the family have committed to never repeating this kind of comic performance in the future.” School officials declined to comment on the matter to JTA.

Orlian’s performance, which aired June 17 on NBC, consisted of exactly three jokes, all either about oral sex or the young comic’s anatomy. For his final gag, Orlian recalled going to circus camp and telling his mother that next he wanted to learn sword swallowing, an idea to which she strenuously objected. Orlian then recounted relaying this to his father, who supposedly replied, “I’m not surprised, your mother hasn’t been interested in sword swallowing since we got engaged.”

As the audience responded with a mix of laughter and stunned looks, Orlian deadpanned, “I didn’t know my mom was in the circus.” The judges ate it up.

Comedian Howie Mandel joked that Orlian’s performance would go over well at his bar mitzvah party.

“If nothing else, you’ve got a great piece of tape for the reception,” Mandel said.

Mel B. of Spice Girls fame pronounced Orlian “naughty, naughty but nice.” Shock jock Howard Stern said Orlian had to work on his stage confidence but added, “You got good material.” Josh’s father, Joseph, boasted in a Facebook post, “Great reaction from literally across America to the audition of my son.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.