A fun fund-raiser

A line-up of US comedians is spreading laughter around the country on their Comedy for Koby Tour.

Ted Alexandro 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Ted Alexandro 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Since American Navy Seals assassinated Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, Ted Alexandro has been killing audiences in America and online with his jokes poking fun at the Americans who went a bit too far with their anti-Osama celebrations.
His video “Kiss Our American Ass” has spread like wildfire on the Internet, liked by people who realize the song was intended to be satirical and by those who have taken it deadly seriously.
“For 10 long years you ran like bitches, now the Navy Seals made you swim with the fishes,” one memorable line in the song goes.
“Pucker up, go ahead and make my day. Put your lips on the ass of the USA.”
Now Alexandro has taken his satire to Israel on the biannual Comedy for Koby Tour that has brought top American comedians to Israel for a decade. The tour raises money for the Koby Mandel Foundation that helps families struck by terror.
Alexandro, tour organizer Avi Liberman and comics Judy Gold and Ian Edwards have already tickled funnybones in Ra’anana and Beit Shemesh.
Tickets are still available for two shows in Jerusalem on Sunday and one each in Modi’in Saturday night, Tel Aviv on Monday and Alon Shvut on Tuesday.
“I am very excited about coming to Israel for the first time,” Alexandro said in a phone interview ahead of a show in Tennessee. “I’ve heard great things from other comics who have done the tour. I’m expecting Israel to be beautiful with ancient things to see, side by side very old and very new. That’s what it’s like, right?” This won’t be Alexandro’s first time in the Middle East. He performed in Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and Kuwait with Egyptian- and Palestinian-American comics on the successful Axis of Evil Tour a few years ago. He said after visiting those places, he was not concerned at all about coming to Israel.
“I know that in the US, the news can be sensationalized and overblown about how dangerous a place may or may not be,” he said.
When asked about the video, he said he did it because he thought the celebrations outside the White House after Bin Laden’s death were funny.
“We made an over-the-top jingoistic anthem that satirizes the over-the-top celebration and patriotism,” he said. ”I like it that people like the song for different reasons.”
Alexandro has performed on the late night shows of David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O’Brien. The other comics on the tour have equally impressive resumes.
British-born Jamaican-raised comedian Edwards has appeared on Showtime at the Apollo and Def Comedy Jam and wrote for Saturday Night Live.
“I like traveling, and Israel seems like a great place to come, learn and see places I never saw,” Edwards said in a phone interview from LA. ”I see things on the news, but it’s important to me to get my own version of events. I’m not worried because everyone tells me it’s not like it is on TV. It’s not, right?” Edwards said he has performed at a Jewish restaurant in Beverly Hills and ”there’s a few Jews in New York,” so he thinks his routine will work in Israel.
“I’m going to tell them about me,” he said. ”I have a pretty universal act.
I do shows at clubs with Jewish, Asian, Latino and Persian nights. I’m looking forward to seeing Israel and adding to my world of experience. And maybe if I meet a nice Jewish girl, I might be back.”
Judy Gold is a nice Jewish girl who won awards for her off-Broadway show 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother. She also received a Cable Ace Award for her HBO half-hour special, won two Emmys for writing and producing The Rosie O’Donnell Show and was nominated twice for The American Comedy Award’s funniest female stand-up.
Liberman said he was excited to bring Gold to Israel for the first time after trying hard to bring her in the past. Gold is only the third female comic to appear on the tour.
When Liberman calls Gold “one of the funniest, period,” he says it as an authority. He has his own impressive comedic resume, and he is a close friend of comedienne Sarah Silverman, who is coming to Israel for the first time later this month.
Liberman said he is proud to bring together a mix of Jewish and non- Jewish comedians who have so little in common.
“I wanted as diverse a show as I could get,” he said. ”This is as diverse as possible, so it should be great.”