Comedy for Koby hits 18 years of funny

Comedy for Koby Beit Shmuel, Jerusalem

December 17, 2018 21:55
2 minute read.
THE COMEDY for Koby lineup: from left, Avi Liberman, Tom Rhodes, Alex Thomas Jr., Seth and Sherri Ma

THE COMEDY for Koby lineup: from left, Avi Liberman, Tom Rhodes, Alex Thomas Jr., Seth and Sherri Mandell and Kira Soltanovich. (photo credit: YISSACHAR RUAS)

It has now been 18 years since Los Angeles-based comedian Avi Liberman started bringing the best comics in the US to Israel.

Eighteen is hai, or life in Hebrew, and there is no doubt that Liberman has improved the quality of life in the Jewish state by bringing such impressive entertainment to Israel twice a year. He also helps a worthy charity, the Koby Mandell Foundation, which helps family members of terrorist victims with therapeutic healing programs.

This past week’s tour has been no exception, with hilarious performances by comedians Alex Thomas Jr., Tom Rhodes, Kira Soltanovich and Liberman himself in Ra’anana, Modi’in, Beit Shemesh, Gush Etzion, two shows in Jerusalem Sunday, and a final show Monday night in Tel Aviv.

Liberman started off Sunday’s nightcap by making fun of Jewish holidays and perfecting an impersonation of US President Donald Trump at the presidential Hanukkah party, saying that his presidency will miraculously last eight years instead of the one some thought it would.

The Jerusalem-Tel Aviv train that doesn’t really go to Tel Aviv proved good fodder for Liberman. But the most successful joke of his routine poked fun at the recent social justice protests in France, which he said were over nothing.

“I only get 27 weeks of paid vacation, and my wife only gets four-and-a-half years of maternity leave,” Liberman said in a poor French accent.

Rhodes received applause from the crowd for bringing his 80-year-old Christian mother with him to Jerusalem and by saying that “Tel Aviv is Miami with guns.”

Thomas, who repeatedly reminded the crowd that he is black, stole the show by putting on a kippah he purchased in Jerusalem and keeping it on for most of his act and the questions afterward.

“Do I look fat in this yarmulka?” he asked in a memorable line.

Soltanovich proved why Liberman was pressured to bring her back to Israel just four years after her last tour. While her routines about her Soviet mother and the people who touch her belly wrongly thinking she is pregnant were funny, the highlight was her interaction with the crowd.

She repeatedly made fun of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Baka, asked whether Israeli women ovulate every three days and ridiculously declared Hallel “a slutty name.”

It is that success in poking fun at everyday life in Israel that makes Comedy for Koby so successful and such a welcome part of Israel’s English-language entertainment calendar.

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