Hebrew School

You Don’t Have to be Jewish

Bob Booker & George Foster Present: You Don’t Have to be Jewish

Here are some fairly amusing comedy sketches, taped with a live studio audience, that Jill found at the record fair. (The vinyl copy I have does not include “When You’re In Love…” but otherwise looks the same as pictured above.) Some of the material seems somewhat watered down for mass consumption, a quality I see as separate from a certain reductiveness which is often integral to ethnic comedy. Easily understandable to non-Jews, it’s material that’s benign enough to be repeated in mixed company without offending sensibilities. Nonetheless, a few moments did find me genuinely laughing.

Particularly, I enjoyed the sketch where a young Jewish woman calls her mother, complaining that the car won’t start, the house is a mess, the kids are sick, and she still has to make lunch for her Hadassah meeting. The mother says not to worry– that she will come over, clean the house, start lunch, and take care of the kids. The daughter, grateful, thanks her while the mother explains in an exasperated tone that she doesn’t mind taking the subway to the Long Island Railroad, to the bus, and then walking the fourteen blocks. Finally, the mother asks how her daughter’s husband, Sam, got to work if the car didn’t start. (Brief pause.) “My husband’s name is Paul… Is this Tremont 7-1166?”

“No, this is Tremont 7-1177.”

Pause. “Does that mean you’re not coming over?”

Featured on this album are innumerable well-known (or soon-to-be) personalities, including Lou Jacobi (who I wrote about here) and Valerie Harper. (Okay: Valerie Harper.)

buy / listen


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I thought I WAS Jewish for the past 2 1/2 years . . . turns out I’m just in love! Who knew?

Comment by goyisheh

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