In 2009, Marc Maron was a down-on-his-luck comedian, a man who’d survived alcohol and drug addiction, two divorces and resentment over his friends’ successes in the comedy world. Then, his career was resurrected with a little help from iTunes. For the past two and a half years, Maron has hosted the wildly popular twice-weekly WTF, podcasts in which he interviews comedians like Chris Rock and Robin Williams, television stars including Amy Poehler and Jon Hamm, and even the occasional highbrow public radio personality (Ira Glass, in case it wasn’t clear). Moment editor Nadine Epstein sat down with Maron at his Los Angeles home to talk about Israel, his days as a Hebrew school provocateur and the time he thought he was the Messiah.
Borscht Belt humor walks a narrow line between good jokes and bad taste. Alexander Wohl analyzes this sometimes off-color Jewish humor.
In 1979 Time magazine, the quintessential barometer of American life, told the nation that even though Jews made up only 3 percent of the population, 80 percent of America’s working comedians were Jewish.
For veteran stand-up comedian Judy Gold, turning overbearing Jewish mothers into a shtick is an act of love and reverence.