September 16th, 2014 11:26 a.m.

When Jews Were Funny
Canada 2013, 90 min, Digital, Dir: Alan Zweig

On the surface, When Jews Were Funny is a comedic take on the history of Jewish humour in North America. But like most of Alan Zweig’s films, it is so much more. Born out of his curiosity for the prevalence of Jewish comedians in the 1950s and 60s - a surprising trend since the Jewish community was largely marginalized and encouraged to assimilate during these decades - the film investigates America’s fascination with Jewish comics. Through interviews with some of the industry’s greats, including Shelly Berman, Shecky Greene, and David Steinberg, he examines how Jewish humourists succeeded in a homogenized market and helped build the foundations of modern-day American humour. Zweig’s deadpan questioning often leads to some hilariously comedic give-and-take moments, illuminating, not only the roots of Jewish humour, but ultimately what it means to be Jewish. (Robin Smith, Hot Docs)

FILM REVIEW "it’s nothing if not consistently engaging. Especially when the hyper-ornery Super Dave looks like he’s about to leap out of his seat and strangle Zweig." - Josef Braun, VUE Weekly

Rating: Parental Guidance (PG)
Advisories:
  • Coarse Language
Screenings:
  • Friday December 20, 2013 at 7:45PM
  • Saturday December 21, 2013 at 9:15PM
  • Sunday December 22, 2013 at 4:15PM
  • Monday December 23, 2013 at 2:00PM
  • Thursday December 26, 2013 at 2:00PM
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