Jewish Film Festival
When Comedy Went to School
Why are there so many Jewish comedians? In the 1970’s when Jews represented only 3% of the U.S. population, they made up 80% of professional standup comics. The answer lies in upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains (aka “The Borscht Belt”), where Jewish immigrants transformed lush farmland into the 20th century’s largest resort complex. Those Catskill hotels and bungalow colonies provided the setting for a remarkable group of young comedians to hone their craft and become worldwide legends. Through archival clips, interviews, and performances by comedy greats like Jerry Lewis, Sid Caesar, Jerry Stiller, Jackie Mason, Mort Sahl, Joan Rivers, Woody Allen, and even a very young Jerry Seinfeld, WHEN COMEDY WENT TO SCHOOL—hosted and narrated by Robert Klein—looks back with nostalgic affection and shines an incredibly entertaining spotlight on the comedy boot camp for American humor as we know it today.
Table Reservations are not available for this event.
USA, 2013, 76 min, Not Rated, Directed by Mevlut Akkaya, Ron Frank & Lawrence Richards
“Fascinating and funny. As a grab bag of reminiscences by veteran funny people bolstered with richly entertaining performance footage, it’s boffo.”
– Walter Addiego, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
“A lot of fun.”
– Kenneth Turan, LOS ANGELES TIMES
“Thorough, funny, and thoroughly funny. Saucy and spirited, and the history is terrific.”
– Joe Neumaier, NY DAILY NEWS