5.9/10
420
8 user 11 critic

When Jews Were Funny (2013)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 25 March 2014 (USA)
Trailer
1:07 | Trailer
Surveys the history of Jewish comedy.

Director:

Alan Zweig

Writer:

Alan Zweig
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Marc Maron ... Self
Bob Einstein ... Self
Rodney Dangerfield ... Self (archive footage)
Gilbert Gottfried ... Self
Howie Mandel ... Self
Eugene Mirman ... Self
Shelley Berman ... Self
Jack Carter ... Self
Alan King ... Self (archive footage)
Jackie Mason ... Self (archive footage)
Elon Gold ... Self
Andy Kindler ... Self
Judy Gold ... Self
David Brenner ... Self
Aaron Berg ... Self
Learn more

More Like This 

Swerve (2011)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Colin happens upon a road accident where he finds a dead man, a beautiful woman, and a suitcase full of money. After trying to do the right thing he soon finds himself caught up in a dangerous scheme.

Director: Craig Lahiff
Stars: Jason Clarke, Emma Booth, David Lyons
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

Four retired ex-military personnel and another retiree attempt the unthinkable and dust off their old uniforms for one last explosive mission to rescue their grandchildren.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Bo Svenson, Margot Kidder, Louis Gossett Jr.
Mad Ship (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A poor young Scandinavian immigrant couple winds up in Canada in search of prosperity, but the hardship of the Great Depression takes a toll in a way they never feared when they went in search of the dream.

Director: David Mortin
Stars: Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Gil Bellows, Line Verndal
My Old Lady (2014)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An American inherits an apartment in Paris that comes with an unexpected resident.

Director: Israel Horovitz
Stars: Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith
Another You (1991)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A mental out-patient is misidentified for a missing wealthy man and is forced to take advantage of the situation.

Director: Maurice Phillips
Stars: Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Mercedes Ruehl
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A small town's reaction to scandal.

Director: Bob Byington
Stars: Kaley Wheless, Nick Offerman, Martin Starr
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

An inexperienced college student meets a wealthy businessman whose sexual practices put a strain on their relationship.

Director: Michael Tiddes
Stars: Marlon Wayans, Kali Hawk, Fred Willard
Tyrannosaur (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Joseph, a man plagued by violence and a rage that is driving him to self-destruction, earns a chance of redemption that appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker.

Director: Paddy Considine
Stars: Peter Mullan, Archie Lal, Jag Sanghera
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Cynthia and Mary show up to collect Cynthia's inheritance from her deceased grandfather, but the only item she receives is an antique sword that was believed by her grandfather to be proof that the South won the Civil War.

Director: Lynn Shelton
Stars: Marc Maron, Jon Bass, Michaela Watkins
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

Four notorious thieves wake up in a fortified warehouse and are forced by a cunning master thief to plan and commit an extraordinary diamond heist.

Director: Jesse D. Ikeman
Stars: William Forsythe, Kathleen Munroe, Carlo Rota
Anon I (2018)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In a world without anonymity or crime, a detective meets a woman who threatens their security.

Director: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Clive Owen, Afiya Bennett, Morgan Allen
Edit

Storyline

Alan Zweig's 2013 documentary "When Jews Were Funny" surveys the often colorful history of Jewish comedy in America. The documentary is insightful, often hilarious and packed with one-liners. While taking the viewer on the journey through the history of Jewish comedy, a second journey is taken in the exploration of what it means to be Jewish in America. Written by rleegray

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Jack Carter: You avoided it like the plague. There was no Jewish Comedians per se. It was outlawed then. It wasn't... it wasn't in.
See more »

Connections

References The Golden Girls (1985) See more »

User Reviews

 
Beautiful and Nostalgic
16 April 2014 | by jayraskinSee all my reviews

I am around the age of the director Alan Zweig, 60, and I come from a Jewish New York background, so I got exactly what Zweig was saying. We had very funny Jewish relatives and we watched Jewish comics on television almost every night of the week. We grew up at a very special time and only now are beginning to realize how special it was. Many Jews like myself and Zweig stopped observing all religious practices, married non-Jews and only had one or two child. I had about 15 or aunts and uncles and other funny Jewish relatives. My daughter only has three or four and they certainly aren't as funny. About every third comic/comedian on television was Jewish including many of the top ones like Jerry Lewis, Milton Berle and Jack Benny. Today, only about one out of ten are Jewish. For example, I think Vanessa Bayer is only one of the 15 comedians currently on SNL that is Jewish. Compare that to SNL in its first season where Lorraine Newman, Gilda Rahdna, Al Franken were all Jewish and the first three guest hosts George Carlin, Paul Simon and Rob Reiner were all Jewish, not to mention the show's creator Lorne Michaels and half the writing staff.

What I loved about seeing the movie was getting to see some old Jewish comics whom I haven't seen in decades. I was really glad to know that they're still alive and kicking, these include Norm Cosby, Shelley Berman, Jack Carter, David Steinberg ("Boolah, Boolah"), David Brenner, and Bob Einstein (whom I still remember best as Officer Judy on the Smothers Brothers Show). Seeing these and others brought back a flood of memories. It was like seeing childhood friends again.

The second great thing is that they all tell great old Jewish jokes in the movie. I had forgotten these wonderful jokes.

My only criticism of the movie is that I wish there were more clips of deceased Jewish comedians. Alan King, Rodney Dangerfield and Henny Youngman clips are shown, but there were dozens more that I would have loved to have seen, Irwin Corey, Joe E. Lewis, Molly Pecon, Bert Lahr, Red Buttons, Jan Murray, etc.

Still, it was a sweet and funny and beautiful little movie and it made me think about aspects of my life I haven't thought about in many, many years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Alan Zweig.


17 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 8 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 March 2014 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed