by Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
JACKIE MASON RETURNS TO BROADWAY IN “FUFTSIK (50) SHADES OF GR…..GRIBENES”
I had a dream last night that Jackie Mason will be returning to Broadway in a new show titled, “50 Shades of Gribenes.”
Mason was born Jacob Maza on June 9, 1934, in Sheyboygan, Wisconsin. The son of a rabbi, he and his family moved to New York’s Lower East Side. To his agents and managers, he was sometimes too Jewish; to his family, he was not Jewish enough.
Over the years we’ve seen him in “Love Thy Neighbor,” where he talks about new technology:
“All the genuises with computers love to tell you you can talk to people all over the world if you’re on line. Who wants to? You want to talk to people all over the world? People don’t talk to the guy next door. People are standing in an elevator—do you talk to anybody? A guy calls you up and he’s got the wrong number—do you start a conversation? Do you ever say, “Sure glad you got the wrong number!”
Then he starred in “Much Ado About Everything,” “Jackie Mason: Laughing Room Only,” “Jackie Mason: Brand New” and “Prune Danish.”
Jackie says, “I make fun of the ridiculous pretenses of life in general. Like people who buy a Mercedes and pretend they bought it for the engineering. Or people who buy a boat and pretend they love to be on it. If they had an apartment that size, they wouldn’t go near it. They’d think they were in a prison in Vietnam.”
When Mason was appearing in “Jackie Mason freshly squeezed,” the ads read:
The advertising people hated the title “The Jew From OZ” and the rest is history. I learned two valuable lessons, #1 I can’t dance and #2 don’t screw around the act that made you famous. So, now I’m coming back to Broadway with nothing but hundreds of new, very funny topical jokes. The new one man show has been getting rave reviews around the world and I can’t wait to make you forget about that meshugna musical….Who doesn’t like a bargain…so I’m squeezing 25% off all performances…”
Have you heard Jackie Mason do a routine about Starbucks?
Now imagine what his routine would be about “50 Shades of Gribenes.” Like Jerry Seinfeld, he can make something out of nothing.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen. So, you still recognize my name? I’m still not a big star, but I love every minute of being on this stage.
“Gib a kuk” (Give a look) at all the “g” words I’ve learned over the years: gantseh megillah, gefilte fish, gehakteh leber, geshmak, gib mir nit kayn einoreh (Don’t give me a canary), and goy. Now don’t get insulted. I didn’t say that you have “a goyishe kop”! For the goyim in the audience, I want you to know that we pronounce gribenes, grih-bih-niss.”
You don’t have to look too far for “komedye” material. Now with the popularity of the book, “50 Shades of Grey,” my producers thought that the title, “Fuftsik (50) Shades of Gribenes” was catchy.
Have you ever sat in a Jewish deli and found that the waiter deposited a small dish of gribenes? Yes, gribenes!
Jews are always involved in eating gribenes: small bits of chicken skin, fried to a golden crisp. Just ask Jeremy Leberwohl of the new 2nd Ave. Deli. He calls them “Jewish popcorn.” Gribenes is a “mecheieh”!
Oy, vey. Now we’re concerned with cholesterol. Years ago gribenes was eaten as a snack or mixed in with kasha varnishkes, kugel, mashed potatoes, or chicken livers.
And, finally, I have a question for you: Do you remember the 1993 movie, “Mrs. Doubtfire”? Robin Williams played the part of Daniel Hillard AND Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire. The funniest quote:
Daniel: (with his Yiddish accent) “Oi, it was such a shandw! I should never buy gibenes from a Mohel. It’s so chewy.”
Isn’t Yiddish wonderful?