This year, for the first time, the Sydney Comedy Festival included a Jewish Comedy Showcase as part of its line-up. Dave Boustein, Jeremie Bracka, and Peter Meisel each took to the stage for a short set featuring the usual Jewish fare of holocaust jokes and gripes about overbearing mothers. Dave Smiedt also did a serviceable job as the master of ceremonies, alternating between flogging camel-toe camouflage to the audience and imaging a world with a gay pope (Pope Fabulous the first who chose as his favourite hymns, “Him and him and him!).
But the man I want to urge you all to go out and see immediately is Sol Bernstein, the headline act. With foul-mouthed audacity, he tackled a whole host of controversial topics from the Jewish deicide (Look, we didn’t kill Jesus. I’m telling you we didn’t touch a hair on his head. We may have sold them the wood…) to the veiling of Muslim women (There’s a big debate in England at the moment about whether Muslim women should have their faces covered. Let’s face it, some of them really should.)
At eighty-four years old, he may not be long for the world (as he kept reminding the audience), so catch him while his still breathing and do it soon.