The Original Jewish Princesses of Comedy

In a move certain to ruffle Kol Ra’ash Gadol’s feathers, “Four of today’s funniest female comics salute the trailblazing and treasured pioneers of comedy with their own zany stories and hilarious stand up.”
They call it The J.A.P. Show.

Featuring such star comediennes as Cory Kahaney and Jackie Hoffman, the show is peppered with vintage footage of the original queens of comedy, Belle Barth, Totie Fields and others. Kvetching about husbands, family, sex and weight issues, these “princesses of comedy” prove that the stuff cracking-up Bubby and Zayde in the schtetl is still pretty darn funny today. After all, laughter is the best medicine – unless you married a doctor…then that’s better!

I’ll leave it up to the Jewish feminists to do the unpacking.
The J.A.P. Show opens April 18 at the Actors Temple.

9 thoughts on “The Original Jewish Princesses of Comedy

  1. The concept of paying tribute to stand-up comics of a bygone era sounds grand. I’m not sure why they have to market it with a tired and problematic stereotype that didn’t become popular until the 1980’s (way past these vintage ladies’ time) and that reflects a “nouveau riche” class dynamic of which these early comedians were not a part. Why not talk about the Borsht Belt, vaudeville, the Catskills, something else reflecting/paying homage to the comedy’s roots? Ed Sullivan, for pete’s sake?
    As is, the name makes them look stupid in cheap in a way that’s an unnecessary pity.

  2. I’m torn. Like Danya, I really love the fact that there is a tribute to Jewish comediannes who don’t get much recognition anymore.
    But the way that press release reads is making me physically ill.

  3. If you guys knew more about the Actor’s Temple, then you would not not to expect anything better from that place.

  4. As a Jewish comedienne myself, I would go see this show, just because the women who blazed the trail for us should be seen and appreciated. The “J.A.P” is a part of comedy that should be noted, not forgotten. Remember, the early days of women in comedy were the “tired” stereotypes of housewives (Phyllis Diller, Joan Rivers) or strippers (Rusty Warren). In the Catskills, men played a dominant role in comedy, and there were few women playing the resorts, so comediennes played where they could, in smoky clubs in NYC and elsewhere. In being themselves, they could even offend and get away with it. Besides, what’s wrong with laughing at a good show?

  5. My fellow Jewish feminists,
    I am promoting this show on behalf of a dear friend, a Broadway producer, and Jewish feminist herself. Put aside your gut reactions to the name for a second, it’s a hilarious show that CELEBRATES Jewish comediennes of yesterday and today. The point of the title is for it to be eye grabbing, attractive to the press and the general public. Would people flock to “A celebration of Jewish comediennes past and present”? Seriously.
    Think about popular comedy today. Please note the upcoming event at the 92nd St Y addressing this very issue- some of the comediennes from this show will most likely be there.
    Jewish Comedians Pushing the Envelope:
    Is There An Envelope Left?
    Many comedians see themselves primarily as taboo-breakers who push our society’s hot buttons exploring the dark recesses of our minds and exposing our undersides. Racism sexism homophobia anti-Semitism—these are the stock-in-trade of the young comedian finding his or her edge. But is there or should there be a limit? Have certain comedians—Sarah Silverman Sacha Baron Cohen Larry David—gone too far?
    We can reflect on these questions. Pesach is coming when we should think about stereotypes, suffering, and the larger issues facing the world today. But after you eat your first post-Pesach slice of Pizza-see this show and laugh until you cry. Who better to enjoy this tribute to us than proud Jewish women? Tell your friends, they’ll thank you for it.
    Chag Pesach, Kasher V’Sameach.
    [email protected]

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