Friday, November 28, 2014

Jason goes to Jewfest South--Closing Night

And the festival ended with a bang, with WHEN COMEDY WENT TO SCHOOL. A labor of love about the Catskills, the famous mountain resort area with luxury hotels and especially stand-up comedy. And especially especially, Jewish comedians. The documentary spends as little time as required to tell the history of the Catskills and tell a little bit about the environment, and leaves as much room as possible for the comedians. Jerry Lewis, Larry King, Sid Caesar, Jackie Mason, Jerry Stiller, Mel Brooks, Buddy Hackett (and his son Sandy, also a stand-up comedian, who was there for the film and warmed up the audience before and continued entertaining the audience after.) And, of course, with so many comedians doing their best work (or at least, the best that was caught on video back in the day) you have a pretty amazingly funny movie, that fills packed despite it's rather crisp (75 minutes) running time.

After the show, Larry King appeared via Skype. It might seem he's an odd choice to represent a film about comedians, but he interviewed most of the comedians at some time in their lives and he's a very funny man himself (I still remember his story about getting an "honorary police chief" certificate and then getting stopped by a cop. After the cop told him what he could do with it the punchline was "I'm glad they didn't give me a plaque!")

And, as I already mentioned, Sandy Hackett was there and was hilarious. Director Ron Frank was there as well, and they all had a great conversation and Q&A session (I won't get into the story of the woman who had a long-standing crush on Larry King, but that was a hilarious and kinda awkward part of the evening.)

What a great way to end another fantastic festival.

Running Time: 75 minutes
My Total Minutes; 374,020

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