The crowd was friendly at Jerusalem’s Beit Shmuel theater Sunday night, eager to laugh and hear what four American comedians had to say about Israel, Jews, and just about anything else that came to mind.
It was the third show out of seven for Comedy for Koby, the bi-annual event that has brought some 30 comedians to Israel over the last 10 years, raising money for the Koby Mandell Foundation.
“Is this a Jewish crowd?” joked Ralph Harris, who riffed on Shabbat elevators and a fruit cobbler he made at the hotel out of “three apples and matzah crackers,” because of Shabbat restrictions.
It was Harris’s first time in Israel; he is here this year with Dennis Regan, another first-timer; Wayne Federman, who came the very first year; and Avi Liberman, who finds and invites his fellow comics each time.
Regan stuck to his deadpan routine about the rules of marriage and the questionable pleasures of candle stores and shopping, while Federman connected with the crowd on Israeli character flaws, from the “mellow” drivers and chocolate-milk “obsession” to the questionable customer service (the hotel staff began draining the hotel pool for cleaning while he was still swimming).
Liberman is more familiar with the Comedy for Koby audience, and used material culled from local issues and events, such as Bibi’s ice cream budget, Women of the Wall, and the spate of Jewish holidays. He was even requested to repeat his “Top Ten Things You’ll Never Hear in Mea She’arim” list during the question-and-answer period, but begged off after just three.
To hear the comedians’ newer material — they spent Sunday touring the Old City — tickets are still available for Tuesday night in Tel Aviv and Wednesday night in Gush Etzion (Monday night in Ra’anana is sold out). More information is available at the Comedy for Koby website.