When Comedy Went to School
Filmmakers Mevlut Akkaya & Lawrence Richards will appear for Q&A and reception at 3pm show.
Why are there so many Jewish comedians? In the 1970's when Jews represented 3% of the U.S. population,
they made up 80% of professional comedians. Why is it that a nation which once laughed at the folk humor of Will Rogers, ended up captivated by the urbane parodies of "Seinfeld"? Is there a common denominator that made some Jewish-Americans comedy legends? What is their legacy? And in the immortal words of Butch Cassidy, "Who are COMEDY222JackieMasonthose guys?" The answer to this question lies in the Catskill Mountains, aka the Borscht Belt, where Jewish immigrants transformed lush farmland into the 20th century's largest resort complex. Those Catskill hotels and bungalow colonies provided a comedy boot camp where a remarkable group of young comedians honed their craft to become worldwide legends. The film features interviews and comic performances by Jerry Lewis, Jerry Stiller, Sid Ceasar, Mort Sahl, Hugh Hefner, Larry King, Jackie Mason and Mickey Freeman. It is hosted by the one and only Robert Klein, and pays SIDDDSidCeasarhomage through archive clips to many other Catskill veterans such as Danny Kaye, Mel Brooks, Red Buttons, Buddy Hackett, Lenny Bruce, Henny Youngman, Don Rickles, Totie Fields, and Rodney Dangerfield to name a few. And then there was the next generation: Billy Crystal, Joan Rivers, Woody Allen and a very young Jerry Seinfeld who followed in their footsteps. USA, 2013, 77 min., color, DCP | A film by Mevlut Akkaya, Ron Frank & Lawrence Richards
"The archival footage is rich. The interviews - with Jerry Lewis, Sid Caesar, Jackie Mason, Mort Sahl, Jerry Stiller and others - are saucy and spirited, and the history is terrific." - Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
Cinema Arts Centre (View)
423 Park Avenue
Huntington, NY 11743