When Jews Were Funny

Sunday, July 20


LJCC Sam Lerner Center at Shalom Park
7:00 PM

Insightful and often hilarious, When Jews Were Funny features Howie Mandel, David Steinberg, Shelley Berman, Shecky Greene and many others examines the history of Jewish comedy, from the Catskills to the present day, ultimately exploring what it means to be Jewish and how assimilation has changed Jewish humor.

When Jews Were Funny
is director Alan Zweig’s personal exploration into the roots of his Jewish identity, and particularly the question of how his Jewishness has persisted though he’s done nothing to maintain it. He begins his exploration by trying to answer a question that’s intrigued him since childhood: Why were all the comedians he watched on TV in the fifties and sixties Jewish? At first he doesn’t get the answers he was hoping for, but he trusts in the old saying, “two Jews, three opinions” and eventually some answers start to form.

“As Zweig and his subjects shuttle from the universal to the particular and back again, the movie’s real subject isn’t so much comedy but what it means to be Jewish. It’s an impossible question to answer, of course. But it’s also one well worth exploring, especially in a movie as funny and heartfelt as this one.” – Toronto International Film Festival

Best Canadian Feature, Toronto International Film Festival, 2013


Director: Alan Zweig

Language: English

Run Time: 90 minutes

Canada 2013