stand up comedian avi liberman 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Comedy for Koby
The Jerusalem Post ran an incorrect headline in a feature previewing the Comedy for Koby stand-up tour on this page last Thursday. The headline was “Riding the latest wave,” while the subheadline below was “Top US comedians on the ‘Comedy for Koby’ tour are already poking fun at the Gaza flotilla incident.”
First thing that morning, the word “not” was added to both the headline and the subheadline online, because as the story indicated, the comedians made a point of not focusing on the flotilla or any other news of the day. “The show helps people get away from the news,” Comedy for Koby
founder Avi Liberman said in the story.
After seeing the show at Jerusalem’s Beit Shmuel on Sunday and listening to how the crowd reacted to the comics, it seems clear that many people were either disappointed or relieved, based on whether they read the Post
online or in print.
There are Israelis who, as Liberman said, come to comedy shows to escape the news, especially at a time like now when the headlines are particularly disheartening for the Jewish state. But there are many, especially in Jerusalem, who wanted the comedians to poke more fun at their current reality and lighten up issues that are weighing heavily on their minds. We confess to be among them.
Liberman, as promised, opened the show with a joke about how the
group had added another performance on a cruise ship to Turkey and was
hilarious as usual in mocking the idiosyncrasies in Israeli society and
Bob Zany said he finally made it big time now
that he was performing at the World Union for Progressive Judaism, and
said his next stop would be at the Tel Aviv KFC. Johnny Sanchez did a
good job of making fun of the way Israelis argue.
other attempts at Israel-themed jokes that did not go as well. Zany said
something about getting lost on the way to Silwan, and multiple comics
mentioned the light rail but lost the audience because they referred to
it as “the monorail.” But other than that, the show could have been
delivered in any capital in the world, or we could have watched it at
home on YouTube.
Liberman’s guests could have made more of an
effort to reach out to a specifically Israeli audience, as have some of
the best performers Liberman has brought in the past.
December, Butch Bradley had an entire audience in stitches with his
routine about drivers in Jerusalem’s Old City and his open encouragement
for an Israeli attack on Iran. “I don’t want to insult the intellect
with a joke I’d tell in Iowa,” Bradley said then, in an interview with Post
Editor-in-Chief David Horovitz.
perhaps Liberman is right, and most people wanted a show to make them
forget about their lives in Israel. The boos an audience member received
for asking the comedians what they thought about the Arab-Israeli
conflict could be evidence of this. People who wanted an escape from
reality genuinely got it and, we are sure, left very satisfied.