Of all the major Jewish holidays, the least familiar to the synagogue-avoiding Jewish public is Shavuot. J.J. Goldberg explains.
Searching for the most Jewish scene in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” on the film’s fortieth birthday.
Vulture’s list of top 100 jokes prove to shape modern comedy prove Jews are the real kings of comedy.
J.J. Golderg’s Rosh Hashanah playlist was born five years ago as a sort of mood piece. This year he riffs on some of the elements of the New Year’s service itself.
Marx Brothers and horror fans unite? It looks like musician turned film director Rob Zombie will helm the latest Groucho Marx biopic.
It’s been 100 years since four brothers — Leonard, Arthur, Julius and Milton — sat down at a table and, with the assistance of a fellow vaudevillian, reinvented themselves as Chico, Harpo, Groucho and Gummo. The centennial anniversary of that comic rebirth will be celebrated with Marxfest, a month-long series of screenings and discussions taking place in May.
Jews are hardly new to vaudeville. But it is striking how many Jews continue to specialize in vaudeville and variety acts — from clowns to contortionists, jugglers to jesters.
Ruth Wisse offers a cogent analysis of Jewish humor in her new book. Why does she overlook several decades of scholarship on ethnic jokes?
Comedy, explained Aristotle, has a vague history, because at first no one took it seriously. We cannot know for certain if Aristotle was deadpanning, but his observation would amuse Saul Austerlitz. According to Austerlitz, American film comedy has not been taken seriously, either. In fact, the author quips, it is American film’s “bastard stepchild.” With his latest book “Another Fine Mess: A History of American Film Comedy,” Austerlitz gives us a broad survey of the genre, hoping to spark debate.
Fifty-five years ago today, union activist and thespian Philip Loeb checked himself into the Taft Hotel in Midtown Manhattan under a false name and took a fatal dose of sleeping pills. Targeted by the insidious blacklist, Loeb could no longer find work in his beloved acting profession and had reached rock bottom.