Tag Archives: Humour

Jew of the Week: Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron (1941-2012) was born in Manhattan to a family of writers. She became a journalist and worked as an intern in President Kennedy’s White House until joining Newsweek as a lowly “mail girl”. From there, she became a reporter, and also started writing humourous essays. By 1972, Ephron was among the most well-known humourists in America. She also happened to be married to Carl Bernstein, the journalist who exposed the Watergate scandal. After being asked for help rewriting the screenplay for the film All the President’s Men, Ephron moved into film-making. She went on to make such classics as When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seatle and You’ve Got Mail. Her last film was the highly acclaimed Julie & Julia. Nominated for three Academy Awards, and winning countless others, Ephron also published books, wrote plays, and in her last years contributed a column for The Huffington Post. A symbol of feminism, she inspired a generation of women. Sadly, Nora Ephron passed away on Tuesday.

Words of the Week

One who does not see God everywhere does not see God anywhere.
– The Kotzker Rebbe

Jews of the Week: The Three Stooges

Larry, Curly and Moe

The Three Stooges. From Left: Larry, Curly and Moe

Of all the comedy acts ever produced, few can claim the wild popularity and success of the Three Stooges. The act began in 1925 as “Ted Healy and His Stooges”, with the first film produced in 1930. But it only catapulted to success after 1934, when the cast was solidified as the famous “Larry, Curly and Moe” trio. Moses “Moe” Horowitz (1897-1975) and Jerome Lester “Curly” Horowitz (1903-1952) were brothers born to Jewish-Lithuanian immigrants in Brooklyn. Despite his on-screen debacles, Moses was actually a child prodigy who had a photographic memory. His brother Curly (whose birth name was Yehuda Lev) was initially a well-known ballroom dancer and singer. They had a third brother Shmuel “Shemp” Horowitz (1895-1955) who was also part of the original act, and later returned after Curly died of a stroke in 1952. Meanwhile, Louis “Larry” Feinberg (1902-1975) was a Jewish-Russian comic and violinist from Philadelphia (who was once a professional boxer!) Together, Larry, Curly and Moe revolutionized farce and slapstick humour, and film comedians today owe a great deal to these pioneers. The Three Stooges starred in 220 films, at one point under contract to release 8 films every year because of their incredible popularity. They also appeared in four TV spin-offs, and between 1959 and 1966 recorded popular music albums. In the 1980s, a Three Stooges video game was created. It was so successful that the game was reintroduced in 2002 for GameBoy and in 2004 for PlayStation. Episodes of the Three Stooges continue to re-run around the world (and are particularly popular in East Asia). A new “The Three Stooges” movie is currently in production, reportedly starring Jim Carrey.


Words of the Week

When the mind is occupied… there is no room for stupid and vain thoughts devoid of substance.
– The Lubavitcher Rebbe in Hayom Yom, Cheshvan 16

Jew of the Week: Adam Sandler

A Very Funny Person

Adam Sandler

Hailing from Brooklyn, Adam Sandler (b. 1966) started his acting career on the Cosby Show in the 1980s, but made a real name for himself on Saturday Night Live, alongside Mike Myers and David Space. After starring in some of the most successful comedies in recent history, Sandler created Happy Madison Productions in 1999. The first movie he released under this label was the classic Deuce Bigalow (with proud half-Jew Rob Schneider, who recently said he’d never work with Mel Gibson, even if offered the lead role in Passion of the Christ 2). Sandler has produced and starred in some of the highest-grossing comedies of all time (both Big Daddy and The Waterboy are in the Top 20!) His favourite holiday is, not surprisingly, Chanukah.

Jewish Wisdom

Humour uplifts the mind from a state of constricted consciousness to a state of expanded consciousness.
– Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov