Jackie Mason:  The Ultimate Jew

(For morning show June 6 and

Environmentally Sound June 12, 2008)

Jackie Mason’s latest and last one man stand up act is redundantly titled.  Everyone knows he is The Ultimate Jew.

A consummate professional, too.  I wasn’t thrilled with the first half.  Much of the show was recycled humor from “The World According to Me” which I have listened to on tape more often than I care to admit.  The jokes–and Mason’s impeccable delivery–are hilarious, of course, but when you go to the theatre you want new material.  There is some here, but Jackie, early on, seemed to take the audience for granted, acting kind of like your funny old Jewish uncle who makes everybody laugh at the Passover Seder.  Seemed lazy to me, although he got more laughter than he worked for.

There were flashes of his brilliance of observation, style and delivery which proved he still has it, but why not spend the extra energy writing fresher jokes?

Anyway, the audience’s enthusiasm and response finally got to him and he brought out the good stuff. 

Every entertainer knows the basic rules:  always leave them laughing (if you are a comic) and always leave them wanting more.  Time was growing short and that was when Jackie Mason:  The Ultimate Jew, capital J, capital M, capital U, capital J emerged on stage.  His last hilarious routine caused uproarious laughter and, when it was done, while the theatre was rocking with laughter, just when we wanted more… he said goodnight.