5.9/10
352
9 user 10 critic

When Jews Were Funny (2013)

Surveys the history of Jewish comedy.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hurt I (2015)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

HURT is a documentary portrait of Steve Fonyo, a one-legged cancer survivor who successfully completed a cross-Canada run in the '80s, only to spend three decades mired in crime and addiction.

Director: Alan Zweig
Stars: Steve Fonyo
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

What gives your life meaning? Family, yoga, good food, those shoes that were on sale? Ray Robertson outlines this own list in his non-fiction book "Why Not: Fifteen Reasons To Live?" And ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Zweig
Stars: Jack Breakfast, Howard Engel
Vinyl (2000)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Alan Zweig investigates the wacky world of record collecting.

Director: Alan Zweig
Stars: Alan Zweig, Harvey Pekar, Don McKellar
Deal or No Deal (2005–2009)
Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

26 sums of money, 26 suitcases and one question: Deal or no deal

Stars: Howie Mandel, Sara Bronson, Lindsay Clubine
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Herself
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

Alan Zweig's 2013 documentary "When Jews Were Funny" surveys the often colorful history of Jewish comedy in America. The documentary is insightful, often hilarious and packed with one-liners. While taking the viewer on the journey through the history of Jewish comedy, a second journey is taken in the exploration of what it means to be Jewish in America. Written by rleegray

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 March 2014 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

References Mary Tyler Moore (1970) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Fascinating but NOT the film the film-maker wanted to make
15 January 2016 | by (North America) – See all my reviews

A few years back I saw one of the most startling documentaries I had ever seen. It was called AN EMPIRE OF THEIR OWN- HOW THE JEWS INVENTED Hollywood, and it was based on a bestseller.

It was brilliant. It not only showed how Hollywood was started by Jews, literally, but also showed how, the more successful Hollywood became, the less Jewish everyone wanted to be. The message seemed to be that assimilation and success went hand in hand. The writers even used Superman as an example -- invented by two Jews, Superman actually used a "secret identity" to keep the world from learning that he was "different." Wow.

Zweig's film here is successful entertainment but FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS.

I cannot easily recall another film where the film-maker is such an annoying presence and the viewer so wishes he would just take an extended lunch so we could spend more time with some the greatest comics of the last century, many of whom we have not seen for so long.

(Age is now and always will be scarier than any Hollywood villain. Shelley Berman, for example, sounds like himself and is sharp as a tack, but at 90 he looks nothing like the imposing comic presence he was on the Ed Sullivan show where by sheer force of will he dragged a whole generation into an appreciation of his "phone call" comedy.)

Zwieg meanwhile presents, ironically, the least comic moments in the film as he harasses and annoys these professionals into trying to get them to admit that the world is not as funny as it was because Jews are not as Jewish as they were...

Ignore Zweig and you will actually enjoy this.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page