When Jews Were Funny
Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival
Canada 2013, 90 min, Digital, Dir: Alan Zweig
Screenings:
  • Saturday February 22, 2014 at 2:00PM

A thoughtful exploration of Jewish identity couched in a charmingly casual history of Jewish stand-up comedy, When Jews Were Funny begins with veteran filmmaker Alan Zweig speculating on how Jewish his infant daughter will be, given his own apostate status. Asking himself what he most cherishes and wants to pass on from his heritage, Zweig is led back to the Jewish comics he grew up watching on television in the 1950s and 1960s. Following the thread through to the present - and along the way interviewing such influential comedians as Shelley Berman, Jack Carter and Rodney Dangerfield, while throwing in some amazing archival footage to boot - Zweig shuttles from the universal to the particular and back again as he gets ever closer to his real subject: the unanswerable, but essential, question of what it means to be Jewish.

Rating: Parental Guidance (PG)
Advisories:
  • Coarse Language

This screening is part of the larger thematic series:
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