Jews and comedy have been synonymous in modern America for more than a century. How Americans laugh owes much to Jewish performers and writers. What’s the connection between Jews and comedy? Where does the Jewish drive for laughter come from? Is there such a thing as “Jewish humor?” And how did it shape American humor?
- 9am-12pm Morning session: The Golden Age of Stand-Up and its Yiddishness: Nichols and May, Shelley Berman, Mort Sahl, and Lenny Bruce
- 12pm-2pm M.O. Eggrolls Food Truck
- 2pm-5pm Improv workshop @ The Groundlings w/ former SNL cast member Michaela Watkins
- 7pm Dinner: Torung
- 8:30pm Go see Sarah Silverman’s show at Largo
Tent: Comedy is a week-long seminar in the theory and practice of comedy through a Jewish lens in Los Angeles, CA, March 17–24, 2013. Participants will explore stand-up, improv, and sketch forms with comedians from the country’s leading comedy troupes, and meet with performers and writers working in film and television at the Writers Guild Foundation. In the evenings, you’ll attend comedy shows at premier venues, such as, Largo, Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater, and The Improv. In morning sessions led by Tony Michels (Univ. of Wisconsin), we’ll discuss theories of Jewish comedy from Sigmund Freud to Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, and view classic performances from the dialect comedians of Vaudeville to the legendary performers of the Borsht Belt, radio, television, and the internet.
If required, lodging will be provided; most meals will be provided. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from Los Angeles.
The kinds of things we’ll be doing:
- Go see the Ronna & Beverly show at Upright Citiziens Brigade Theater
- Talk shop with Jill Soloway, writer director of Afternoon Delight and Una Hora Por Favora and writer/producer of Six Feet Under and United States of Tara
- Discuss classic comedy LPs by Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen, and Phyllis Diller
- Sit in on the taping of a comedy podcast
- Read excerpts from Sigmund Freud’s Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious, and talk about why Jews have been so funny for so long
- Have pre-show drinks with stand-ups at the Laugh Factory, then watch their sets
The Comedy application deadline has passed. To sign up for our mailing list and to receive information about 2014 Tent programs, contact us or call (413) 256-4900, x103.