Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"The World According to Me" - Jackie Mason (1988)

If you have never listened to; or seen; Jackie Mason then you should take the time to do so. And, if you find that his comedy is infused with the wit and wisdom of thousands of years of Jewish Talmudic teachings, there is a reason; he used to be a Rabbi. But, as he notes; “I began to slip in a joke here and there…” And so his career was born.

Coming from a family of Rabbis dating back several generations, he was expected to remain true to the family tradition. But, as he read the Talmudic teachings, and observed the human behavior around him, he began to see the funny side of just about everything.

His most well-known faux paus occurred on the Ed Sullivan Show in the 1960’s. The producers were signaling him to cut his act short so they could switch to the news; which was going live to the White House for a speech by the President. Responding to their hand signals he gave one of his own; which looked like the middle finger. Ed Sullivan had him blacklisted and for about 10 years he was relegated to playing stand-up comedy clubs in Los Angeles, where he caught the eye of Rodney Dangerfield and several other comics. He was then featured in the film “Car Wash” and then “Caddy Shack”; playing a curmudgeonly cheap Jew. With these films; featuring a trademark rapid fire cadence and quick witted humor; his career was re-ignited.

By the 1980’s he was headlining again and by 1988 he had the first of two one man comedy shows on Broadway; in which he poked fun at everyone and everything. The best bit in this one is the side splitting part about his psychiatrist and the search for the real Jackie Mason.

Whether or not you have seen this before, it’s still worth the time to watch, and listen as he spins joke after joke; all based on reality. Be prepared to laugh at yourself or don’t bother to listen at all. This is the one comedy album which I listen to on a regular basis.

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