Comedy Review: Comedy for Koby Beit Shmuel

Audience members said that of all the comedians Los Angeles- based Avi Liberman has brought to Israel to raise money for charity, this summer’s tour was by far the funniest.

June 6, 2012 22:39
2 minute read.
Avi Liberman

Avi Liberman 311. (photo credit: Yissachar Ruas)


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Coming out of the Beit Shmuel theater in Jerusalem on Sunday night, the audience of Comedy for Koby was all smiles. Audience members said that of all the comedians Los Angeles- based Avi Liberman has brought to Israel to raise money for charity, this summer’s tour was by far the funniest.

The comedians also did their research. They came prepared with Hebrew words to throw into their jokes and knowledge of the latest politics and popular topics of conversation in the Holy Land.

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Liberman opened the show by saying that he’ll be spending a good deal of time in Israel now that he’s come up with an idea for a successful business venture – he’s going to open up a girls’ school in Beit Shemesh.

He also poked fun at the various countries that olim in the audience hailed from, saying no Jews live in South Africa outside of Johannesburg and Capetown, putting on a posh British accent and talking about the Jubilee and the royal family.

Funnyman Ron Pearson had the audience in stitches from the moment he opened his mouth.

“I’m the youngest of eight children,” he began.

“That’s a large Christian family... or a very small family from Efrat.”

In addition to his witty observations about Israel (“this country has more pregnant women than anywhere else on the planet!”), Pearson is a master of physical comedy. In one routine, he did impressions while juggling.

Like Pearson, African-American comic Kivi Rogers came onto the stage with a boom.

“I am not Sudanese,” he said, referencing the protests that have arisen regarding African refugees in the past few weeks. “I will be heading right out of here.”

He mentioned his experience at the Western Wall as well. Overall it was positive, but he wished they’d do something about all that trash in the wall.

Cory Kahaney, the only comedienne in the group, was eager to impress upon the crowd just how Jewish she is. She talked about the decision to marry a Jew (not an issue most of her audience would have to grapple with, she conceded) and the critical Jewish mother-in-law that came with him.

The comedians brought something for everyone in their eight-show, six-city tour: they were rude without being crude, they brought in physical stunts, world culture, politics and Jewish humor.

But at the end of the day, the cause they’d come to support was all too serious.

The Koby Mandell Foundation, which helps children and families torn apart by terrorism by running a summer camp and respite retreats, among other activities, lost one of its major sponsors this year. It would be a great loss for this segment of the population if the foundations could not continue – and it would be a loss for culture in Israel to lose one of the best comedy events the country has known for the past 11 years. One can only hope that people will continue to support this important cause, so that comedy fans and terror victims across Israel can continue to have a reason to smile.

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