A Night of Jewish Jokes
Wednesday, January 12, 2011, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)

Bill Schechner, MC w/ Joe Nguyen, Mel Gordon, Cradled Duende, plus audience open mic

$18.50 advance / $20.50 at door

Purchase tickets online
January 12 8:00 pm

The Borscht Belt, the cluster of Jewish summer resorts in upstate New York where Milton Berle, Eddie Cantor, Schecky Green, Henny Youngman and many others learned stand-up, is long gone, replaced by new trends. In the contemporary world of intermarriage and Jewish renewal, will Jewish jokes survive? This evening of one-liners, monologues, scholarship—and lots of laughs—tries to answer that question by tracking the evolution of the Jewish joke from the 17th century through modern times. The performance features young Jewish-Vietnamese standup comic Joe Nguyen, UC Berkeley Jewish Joke expert Mel Gordon, and TV's Bill Schechner as MC, and sprinkled throughout the evening, Eastern European klezmer tunes from Cradled Duende. The show also features a "Jewish Joke Open Mic" portion, where audience members are invited to tell their favorites. What's not to like?

Subtle but sharp, laid-back yet engaging, Joe is beloved by audiences for his easygoing delivery and well-written jokes. Raised in the state of Georgia by immigrants of Vietnamese and Jewish descent, Joe's unique perspective has made him a favorite at the San Francisco Punch Line, as well as clubs, colleges, and niche shows throughout the country. Joe won the 2009 Russian River Comedy Competition, and tours nationally with the Mahatma Moses Comedy Tour. He is a member of comedy troupes Nightlife on Mars and The Stand-Up Project.

UC Berkeley Jewish Joke expert Mel Gordon traces the origin of Jewish jokes.

Tonight's MC, Bill, is well known to TV viewers in the Bay Area and nationwide. A man with a good ear and a quick wit, Bill has worked as an anchor and reporter on CBS5 and KQED starting in 1972, and for many years was a National Correspondent for NBC Network News. Bill is eminently qualified for hosting this show: he is the son and grandson of synagogue presidents, has attended countless bar and bat mitzvahs, and has spilled mustard and Russian dressing upon his ties at delicatessens in three time zones.

Cradled Duende share Ashkenazic melodies from the Eastern European klezmer tradition. A joining of several cultures, they incorporate klezmer clarinet with rhythms of flamenco, reggae & West African bata drumming. Lyrics are sung in Hebrew and Spanish over cajon and the didgeridoo.

Visit Joe's website





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