Jewish Journal


June 15, 2007

Hillel gets hysterical


Dikla says:
Laughter is the secret to a good marriage, goes the saying.
Apparently, it’s the secret to a good fundraiser too. Hillel 818, a newly formed partnership between the Pierce and Valley Colleges Hillel and the CSUN Hillel, raised about $10,000 at Comedy Night on Tuesday at the Laugh Factory. Jamie Masada, the owner of the Sunset comedy club and a fellow Jew, donated the 8-10 p.m. time slot for the benefit. The waitresses were also generous enough to donate their time. Hillel organizers estimated that 150 people paid between $50-$150 to hear jokes about J-Date, obsessive mothers and therapy.

Wendy Liebman, a petite 40-something, was the only female comedian of the night. Her subtle style, in my opinion, was the most engaging. “I have separation anxiety,” she said. “So I can’t do laundry.” Everyone laughed except for a male college student sitting in the front row to the left of the stage. “You didn’t get it huh?” Liebman asked him. “I don’t do laundry,” he replied. “You have to separate the clothes,” she explained patiently. The audience laughed.

The Hillel 818 marriage is off to a good start.

Danielle says:
Host Louis Katz indicated he’s not into marriage. In fact, he prefers dating all kinds of women. His refusal to limit himself to Jews only incurs the dismay of his parents, of course. “My parents give me grief about who I date. They say, ‘if you don’t marry a Jew and have Jewish children than the race will die out and Hitler will have won!’ But I say - Hitler’s dead! I’m alive and f(expletive)ing shiksas regularly - WHO won?!”

Marriage, children and ethnicity provided most of the material for the evening. Beneath the funniness, assumptions appear responsible for how differences are perceived: an Asian comic complained that most people associate his face with orange chicken; an African-American labeled the LAPD “racist” and said he’s seen white cops pull over on-duty black cops; another said he heard about the Hillel fundraiser and wondered, ‘The Jews need more money?!’; Katz called hippies “filthy and smelly,” Bay-area residents “ugly” and Los Angeles inhabitants “shallow and superficial.”

As sayings go, it’s a good thing we are what we eat, and not what we say.

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