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Comedy

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Episode 38: Joan Rivers and Treva Silverman: Partners in Comedy

Joan Rivers and Treva Silverman were friends and partners in comedy for decades. In this delightful conversation from JWA’s archive, Joan and Treva talk about what it was like to be women in comedy in the 1960s and 1970s, how they got their start driving to gigs in the Catskills in Joan’s beat up old car, and the origins of some of their favorite jokes.


This is the second episode in a two-part series.

Episode 37: Joan Rivers, can we talk? (Transcript)

Episode 37: Joan Rivers, can we talk? (Transcript)

Episode 37: Joan Rivers, can we talk?

In this episode of Can We Talk?, we share a 2006 interview with Joan Rivers from JWA’s documentary Making Trouble and talk about Joan’s legacy as a pioneering Jewish woman in comedy. We’ll also explain why we chose Joan’s signature tagline “Can we talk?” as the name of our podcast.


This is the first episode in a two-part series.

Ilana Glazer in "The Planet is Burning"

Ilana Glazer’s Stand-Up Special Is Not on Fire

by Emma Cohn

One of JWA's Rising Voices Fellowship almumnae reviews Ilana Glazer's stand-up comedy special The Planet is Burning.

Topics: Television, Comedy
Mrs. Maisel Season 3

Review: "Mrs. Maisel" Season 3

by Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

How does season three of Mrs. Maisel stack up?

Topics: Television, Comedy
Cover of Jenny Slate's "Little Weirds," cropped

Little Weirds, Lots of Tenderness

by Babette Dunkelgrün

We review Jenny Slate's memoir, Little Weirds.

Topics: Comedy, Memoirs
Jenny Slate on stage

Jenny Slate's "Stage Fright"

by Larisa Klebe

Have you seen Jenny Slate's new Netflix special, Stage Fright?

Topics: Television, Comedy
Katherine Ryan

Why Keep a Man in Your House?

by Larisa Klebe

Katherine Ryan isn't Jewish, but her new comedy special on Netflix is.

Topics: Television, Comedy
Ilana Glazer Cropped

My Intersectional Feminist Queen, Ilana Wexler

by Lily Drazin

“Madonna, Rihanna, Ilana!” That’s just one of the many unique jingles enthusiastically sung by none other than the ultimate feminist, Jewess, and queen: Ilana Wexler. Wexler, the fictional character from Comedy Central’s hit series Broad City, embodies every aspect of what it means to be a badass, world-changing, intersectional feminist.

Silhouette of a Girl

Fixing the Flaws in Perfection

by Ilana Jacobs

Every “perfect girl” I have ever met has been so humble, that they can turn a compliment into self-deprecation. It is so unbearably heartbreaking to me that these girls who are so marvelous all don’t know how marvelous they are. But the truly terrifying truth is that their humility and self-consciousness seem to be an essential part of being the “perfect girl.”

Cover Image of Michelle Wolf's The Break

Give Me The Break

by Larisa Klebe

Michelle Wolf isn’t a “nice lady,” and neither am I. Screw being nice. Netflix just cancelled The Break with Michelle Wolf after just one season, and I’m not having it.

Topics: Television, Comedy
Cover of Iliza Schlesinger's Elder Millennial

Respect Your Elder (Millennial)

by Larisa Klebe

Having watched all of Iliza’s specials, read her book, and watched much of her talk show, there are any number of aspects of her comedy I could talk about. I’d like to focus on what I see as her evolution as a feminist, paired with the rising trend of comedy specials that challenge our perceptions of what comedy can be.

Boat Stock Image

Ask Emma: New Beginnings, and Long-Distance Love

by Emma G.

I’m about to start law school in another city, and I’m really excited. The only problem? I will be leaving my partner behind, so our relationship will be long-distance for three years. I’m really nervous about it.

Winding Road Stock Photo

Ask Emma: Pulling Up Your Big-Kid Bloomers, and Running for the Hills

by Emma G.

A friend I haven’t seen for over a year is planning to visit my city and stay for two weeks. Do I have an obligation to host her?

Stage with Microphone and Stool

Dear Male Comedian

by Rabbi Leah Berkowitz

I spend a lot of time trying to shift the focus away from my appearance, my love life, and my sexuality. By sizing me up in front of my entire community, you undid three years of that work in 30 seconds.

Topics: Feminism, Comedy, Rabbis
Michelle Wolf at the White House Correspondence Dinner

Michelle Wolf is (Still) not a Nice Lady

by Larisa Klebe

So, why do people think Michelle Wolf is Jewish (she’s not), and how has this misconception shaped some of the criticism that she’s received? Side note: Michelle, everyone thinks you’re Jewish anyway so why not just seal the deal? Join us!

Stock Image of An Iron

Ask Emma: Pushy Parents, Domestic Chores, and the Fall of Capitalism

by Emma G.

I am a student on a college campus and I too fight for women's issues. What advice do you have to make my work more effective?

Toothbrushes

Ask Emma: Gift-giving, Sharing Toothbrushes, and Roommate Woes

by Emma G.

Is it okay to expect a S.O. to be willing to share their toothbrush?

Michelle Wolf (2016)

Nice Ladies

by Larisa Klebe

I’m not a nice lady. I express my (many) opinions loudly, I’ve perfected the sarcastic comment as an art form, and I’m the proud owner of both a copper IUD and a sweatshirt that reads “I’ve got 99 problems and white heteronormative patriarchy is basically all of them.”

Topics: Television, Comedy
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

A Tale of Two Maisels

by Rachel King and Larisa Klebe

When it comes to the new Amazon original series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, we are an office divided. The newest series from Gilmore Girls showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino has a whole lot to love, especially if you love history, Jewish women, and feminism (which we do!). At the same time, this first season pays little homage to the many funny Jewish women that were making waves in comedy before Midge grabbed the mic.

Topics: Television, Comedy
Bat Mitzvah or Check?

6 Bat Mitzvah Gifts to Look at Before Writing a Check

by Sara Lebow

Here are six adorable Bat Mitzvah gifts to consider before just giving up and writing a check to the newly minted young adult in your life.

Sophie Tucker / Rachel Bloom

Bawdy Entertainers

Challenging Cultural Mores, One Song at a Time

Ghosting Anxiety Image

Is Your Crush Ghosting You or Do They Just Observe Shabbat?

by Sara Lebow

It’s Saturday evening, and it feels like your crush hasn’t talked to you in days. You’ve texted them five times with no response. Are you being ghosted? Or are they just resting for the Sabbath? We’ve created this helpful checklist to help you find out.

Topics: Comedy, Writing
Glow, a Netflix Original Series (2017-)

Wrestling with Women's Relationships in GLOW

by Sara Lebow

The women who stumble into the wrestling show, filled with as much hope, desperation, and monotony as Ruth, do not simply to take over men’s parts, but redefine their own.

Cover of Sarah Silverman's A Speck of Dust

A Speck of Silverman

by Larisa Klebe

Silverman delivers the type of no-holds-barred, crude, hilarious, smart comedy that we’ve all come to expect from her. She also drops some serious truth bombs.

Topics: Television, Comedy
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