Comedian Larry David opened “Saturday Night Live” this weekend with a monologue in which he pointed out the Jewishness of many Hollywood figures recently accused of sexual assault and harassment, and then joked about picking up women in concentration camps during the Holocaust.
“I’ve always been obsessed with women, and I’ve often wondered: If I had grown up in Poland when Hitler came to power and was sent to a concentration camp, would I still be checking out women in the camp? I think I would,” said David, the star of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and creator of hit sitcom “Seinfeld.”
He then imagined a conversation with a fellow inmate over the attractiveness of a woman and his attempts to initiate a relationship.
“‘Hey, Shlomo, look at that one over there by Barracks 8, oh my God is she gorgeous. I’ve had my eye on her for weeks. I’d like to go over and say something to her.'”
“Of course the problem is, there are no good opening lines in a concentration camp. ‘How’s it going? They treating you okay? You know, if we ever get out of here, I’d love to take you out for some latkes. What? What’d I say? Is it me, or is it the whole thing? It’s because I’m bald, isn’t it?” This was an apparent reference to the Nazi practice of shaving the heads of camp inmates, and to David’s own advanced male pattern baldness.
David’s sketch drew sharp criticism on social media, with many users commenting on the “Saturday Night Live” Twitter feed that the jokes were in poor taste.
Larry David just put a Holocaust joke and a Harvey Weinstein joke in his opener, my God. #SNL
— Josh Fields (@partiallypro) November 5, 2017
— Matt 24ever 48 (@MJames2488) November 5, 2017
— Russell Drew (@RussOnPolitics) November 5, 2017
— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) November 5, 2017
Earlier, speaking of the avalanche triggered by revelations about mega-producer Harvey Weinstein, David noted how uncomfortable it was that many of the accused men are Jewish. In addition to Weinstein, accusations have been leveled, among many others, against author Mark Halperin, magazine editor Leon Wieseltier, and director James Toback.
“I couldn’t help but notice a very disturbing pattern emerging that many of the predators — not all, but many of them — are Jews,” said David, who is Jewish.
“And I have three words to say to that: ‘Oy vey iz mir,'” he said, using the Yiddish phrase for “woe is me.” I don’t like it when Jews are in the headlines for notorious reasons. I want ‘Einstein discovers the theory of relativity. Salk cures polio. What I don’t want: ‘Weinstein took it out.'”
Some 100 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct since a New York Times expose was published in early October. The accusations range from harassment to rape. Weinstein denies any non-consensual relations.