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Comedy

"Have you ever considered the girl to be the somebody?"

Yael Kohen’s new book, We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy, has many revealing tales about how change happens. But one stands out for me: in 1966, the actress Marlo Thomas approached the head of ABC-TV programming with a novel idea. She wanted “to play the person with the problem, not the person who assisted the person with the problem.” She recalled:

I didn’t want to be the wife of somebody, or the secretary of somebody, or the daughter of somebody…”Have you ever considered the girl to be the somebody?” And he said, “Would anybody watch a show like that?” I said, “I think they would.” And so I gave him a copy of The Feminine Mystique, and he read it and kind of became convinced.

Joan Rivers: a woman filled with hate or humanity?

Joan Rivers: a woman of chutzpadik and chilarity. We either love her, or hate her. She’s either the talk of the town, or fades into red carpet oblivion . . . only to be resurrected again.

pJewishMisanthropy announces "Kosher Camera" that erases women in real time

Yesterday eJewish Philanthropy released a special, satirical Purim edition of their usual newsletter called pJewishMisanthropy. The whole thing is absolutely hilarious--at least it should be to any of us working in the Jewish communal world who read often-vague articles about the future of "peoplehood," "Jewish innovation," "leadership," and "engagement" in the ever-changing Jewish American/Israeli landscape. Still, one story in particular caught my attention.

Sophie Tucker: “You’re Gonna Miss Me, Honey”

One hundred and one years ago today, Sophie Tucker sang those words from “Some of These Days” onto a four minute cylinder recording device. It became her signature song, and toward the end of her career she guessed that she had sung it over 45,000 times.

Jackie Hoffman sits down with Judy Gold at the 92 Street Y

Jackie Hoffman is one of my favorite Jewish comedians.

Live from Youtube, it's Gilda Radner!

Twenty two years ago today, Gilda Radner's life was cut short by ovarian cancer.

"I'll be Jewish for Christmas"

Last week I wrote a blog post about the "Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah" issue. But now I'm thinking we should all just disregard what I wrote because today I found this video of Katie Goodman of Broad Comedy singing "I'll be Jewish for Christmas," and it says everything I wanted to say and more. In song.

Enjoy!

What's your beef with Sarah Silverman?

Sarah Silverman appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien last Friday and shared an important message about vaginal health with the women of America, among other things.

Jean Carroll, 1911 - 2010

Born Celine Zeigman in Paris in January 1911, the woman whom American audiences knew as the stand-up comedian Jean Carroll came to the United States with her family as a baby. She grew up in the Bronx and began her career in her early teens dancing in an amateur show. A talent agent spotted her, and soon she was performing on the vaudeville circuit.

Don't Settle: 5 Life Lessons From Your Red Hot Mama

I have always loved Sophie Tucker, but after seeing the New Rep Theatre's production of Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red Hot Mamas with our new JWA intern, Gwen, I see her in a new light. What struck me about the show was that it condensed Sophie's wisdom into five important life lessons -- ones that I found particularly relevant to my life as a single woman today.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Comedy." (Viewed on June 21, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/comedy>.

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