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Laughing with Jew

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2005-09-30

SomeoneJewish comedy night

SomeoneJewish comedy night

Despite attempts over the years to create a London Jewish comedy scene, it has never really happened and as a result, London's Jewish comics generally don't have a chance to regularly perform Jewish comedy nights.

So the opportunity to see your favourite Jewish comic perform a mainly Jewish set is quite rare. Sure, you can see Jewish comics any night of the week, including shabbos, but apart from an occasional Jewish gag,  there's not much Jewish material being performed. So when you are looking for kosher laughs, then it's best to go for a dedicated evening.
And when Welsh Jewish comic Bennett Arron hosted a SomeoneJewish comedy night event in North London's Arts Depot in front of 100 people, the audience knew they were in the very capable hands of a very fine performer.
For an entrance fee of £10 SomeoneJewish members and £15 non-members, the crowd were treated to over two hours of stand-up material from Arron, Josh Howie and Mark Maier. Plus, to make it even more value for money, Arron gave the audience the chance to take part in a Blind Date quiz.
Arron, as the host was up first, middle and last!  He delivered a wonderful set that was warm and very funny. From his tales of being the only Jewish family in the village where he grew up to his experiences of watching Jews go out to eat. 
Arron even did well with the blind date part of the night which started uncomfortably for all the contestants who didn't seem to want to take part. But when they discovered that it was all scripted by Arron along with the answers, it seemed to work out in the end with plenty of laughs from both the contestants and the audience.
Howie, the son of PR guru Lynne Franks provided more cutting edge comedy with thought provoking gags about the Holocaust, his relationship with his family and how he writes his own material.   
Maier has been doing the London comedy circuit for many years and his professionalism carried through on the night with his observations on how bar-mitzvah boys can't really sing and why do people let their petrol run to zero before filling up? On a downside, Maier's gags about Jewish seniors and how they react to his material was not too fresh and very dated especially as many second and third generation Jewish seniors don't talk with a eastern European accent. Please, no more "vots" and "vell" voicings!
As comedy nights go, it was a slick performance from three of the brightest Jews living in London and performing to a "home" crowd of fellow Semites.
The mix of comics from the warmly Arron, to the cutting edge Howie and the manic Maier was well thought out and provided the audience with a taster to the new wave of Jewish comics.  The trio as performers offered their own unique style and delivery. They thankfully avoided too many repetitive Jewish stereotypes such as jokes about fishballs and built up a strong repertoire with the audience.
A slick performance from all and one of the best Jewish comedy nights London has ever hosted and as only a Jew could say, excellent value for money!
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Reproduced with permission: Daily Jews