Writing

Two Jews Walk Into Israel

op-seinfeld_539_332_c1On Dec. 19 and 20, Jerry Seinfeld and I will be performing stand-up comedy at the Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv. I have not been this excited about doing a gig in years. Jerry and I had talked about going to Israel to perform and, God willing, it’s now happening.

Jerry and I have been touring together for more than a decade. Touring with Jerry is a total first-class experience. We travel in a private jet, which is a lot better than an El Al flight, where every 10 minutes people wake you up to join a minyan or some woman with 14 kids wants you to hold the triplets while she tries to get the other 11 kids out of the bathroom. We stay in the best hotels and we laugh more in a day than most people laugh in a year. Plus, the people who come to see Jerry’s shows are, by far, the best audiences on the planet.

I expect Israel to be all that and more. For me, performing in Israel is different from performing anywhere else in the world. The people in Israel are more than just an audience. They are my brothers and sisters. They are modern-day heroes.  And now more than ever is a perfect time for Jerry and I or anyone else to go and show support for the people who live there.

People ask me, “Aren’t you scared to go to Israel with all that’s going on now?” Not really. My job calls for me to go wherever people want and need to laugh. Bob Hope taught us all about that. Israel is under immense pressure on almost every level. Just having a Jewish mother is enough pressure for anyone. Now add to it all their other mishegoss and your head could pop off.

I love Israel and I love the Jewish people. In stand-up comedy, Jews have always reigned supreme. They set the standard for the art form, and have raised the bar pretty darn high. A question that comes up a lot is, “What keeps the Jewish people going? How have they survived when, in every generation, someone or some group is trying to wipe them out?” One answer might be laughter. Jews love to laugh. Jews like to tell funny stories. Jews don’t mind jokes at their own expense. In a rabbi, a priest and a minister joke, the rabbi is almost always the fall guy. And no one laughs harder than the rabbis.

So, on Dec. 19 and 20, two Jews will walk into the Menora Mivtachim Arena and tell some funny stories to the great people of Israel, who will listen and laugh. You know what? Not even terrorism can stop the laughter.

The Comic

The Comic, a new play by Mark Schiff and directed by Mark Herrier, is a poignant and hilariously realistic look at the life of a stand-up on the road. Larry Miller, (more…)

Articles by Mark Schiff: The Nineteen Boxes

My mother died July 9,1999. I remember coming home that Friday afternoon from picking up Shabbat flowers. I was parking my car when I saw my wife walking out of the house to greet me. (more…)

Something to Laugh About

An insider’s look at the world of Jewish comedy.
“I’ll tell you. I don’t get no respect. My mother stopped breast-feeding me as a kid. She told me she liked me like a friend.” (Rodney Dangerfield) (more…)

I Used To Have A Life

I was looking at my three boys the other day as they argued over the remote control. One of them yelled, “Hey, give me that, you little rat.” It made me think that if this is any indication of how they will conduct (more…)

Purim All Year

“Comedy is when you accidentally fall off a cliff and die. Tragedy is when I have a hangnail.”

– Mel Brooks

People love to laugh. I know this for a fact, because that’s what I do for a living. I make them laugh. But, big hearty laughter, out in public, is not something that’s really accepted. If you see a person walking in the street laughing out loud to himself, you’d think he was an idiot or crazy. (more…)

Rest In Peace

I don’t know what women have that is the equivalent to a man relaxing. My experience is most women don’t ever seem to relax. They don’t ever seem to stop doing things. Their reason, as my mother was famous for saying, is “If I don’t do it, (more…)

No Older Posts →
← Newer Posts