Jackie Mason

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Jackie Mason
JackieMasonOct06.jpg
Mason in 2006
Birth nameYacov Moshe Maza
Born(1931-06-09) June 9, 1931 (age 83)[1]
Sheboygan, Wisconsin, U.S.
MediumStand-up
Television
Film
Radio
NationalityAmerican
Years active1961–present
GenresPolitical satire
Observational comedy
Improvisational comedy
Subject(s)American politics
International relations
Current events
Race relations
Antisemitism
Jewish culture
American culture
SpouseJyll Rosenfeld (August 14, 1991–present)
Notable works and rolesThe World According to Me!
Hyman Krustofski in The Simpsons episodes "Like Father, Like Clown", "Today I Am A Clown", "Once Upon a Time in Springfield", "Treehouse of Horror XXII", "The Ten-Per-Cent Solution", "At Long Last Leave", and "Clown in the Dumps"
Websitejackiemason.com
Emmy Awards

Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program:
1988 The World According to Me!

Outstanding Voice-Over Performance:
1992 The Simpsons – "Like Father, Like Clown"
 
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Jackie Mason
JackieMasonOct06.jpg
Mason in 2006
Birth nameYacov Moshe Maza
Born(1931-06-09) June 9, 1931 (age 83)[1]
Sheboygan, Wisconsin, U.S.
MediumStand-up
Television
Film
Radio
NationalityAmerican
Years active1961–present
GenresPolitical satire
Observational comedy
Improvisational comedy
Subject(s)American politics
International relations
Current events
Race relations
Antisemitism
Jewish culture
American culture
SpouseJyll Rosenfeld (August 14, 1991–present)
Notable works and rolesThe World According to Me!
Hyman Krustofski in The Simpsons episodes "Like Father, Like Clown", "Today I Am A Clown", "Once Upon a Time in Springfield", "Treehouse of Horror XXII", "The Ten-Per-Cent Solution", "At Long Last Leave", and "Clown in the Dumps"
Websitejackiemason.com
Emmy Awards

Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program:
1988 The World According to Me!

Outstanding Voice-Over Performance:
1992 The Simpsons – "Like Father, Like Clown"

Jackie Mason (born June 9, 1931)[1][2] is an American stand-up comedian and film and television actor.

Early life[edit]

Born Yacov Moshe Maza in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, he grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City.

Mason graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the City College of New York. At age 25, he received semikhah from Moshe Feinstein and was ordained a rabbi (as his three brothers, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather had been), in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.[3] Three years later he resigned from his job in a synagogue to become a comedian because, he says, "Somebody in the family had to make a living."[4]

Career[edit]

Mason was a comedian at the Fieldston Hotel in Swan Lake, New York in the summer of 1955. He was let go because his act was considered too far ahead of its time. The patrons had never been exposed to a comic who seemed to be ridiculing them. A few years later, Don Rickles came along, but by then audiences had become open to this type of humor throughout the borscht belt.

Mason made several appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show during the 1960s, claiming to have been on the first episode to feature the American television debut of The Beatles, although research does not bear this fact out.[5] Mason revealed during his appearance on the BBC show Desert Island Discs that at the time he did not think much of the group, referring to them as "four kids in search of a voice who needed haircuts".

In 1969, Mason made his Broadway theater debut in the comedy play A Teaspoon Every Four Hours written by him and Mike Mortman. It held the Broadway record of 97 previews and closed after its official opening performance (a preview record only succeeded by Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark with its 182 previews prior to opening). In 1986, Mason made a triumphant return to Broadway in The World According to Me, his first of several one-man theatrical shows, and was well received both by critics and the public. One of these shows, Politically Incorrect at Broadway's John Golden Theater ran into trademark problems because it was performed at the same time that Bill Maher's TV show Politically Incorrect was on the air. Maher brought a lawsuit against Mason's production, which was dismissed as frivolous. Mason was able to use this show title, and it is one of his most successful road productions. Between these shows, Mason played the lead in a short-lived television sitcom called Chicken Soup alongside Lynn Redgrave.

In 1992, Mason won an Emmy Award for his voice-over of Rabbi Hyman Krustofski in The Simpsons episode "Like Father, Like Clown",[6] making him the first guest star to win an Emmy for his role. Mason has also appeared in The Simpsons episodes "Today I Am a Clown," "Once Upon a Time in Springfield," "The Ten-Per-Cent Solution," "At Long Last Leave," and "Clown in the Dumps;" the latter episode focuses upon Rabbi Krustofski's death and its effects on his son, Krusty the Clown.

In a 2005 poll to find the Comedian's Comedian, Mason was voted among the top-50 comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders. He was also ranked #63 in Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time.[7]

His full length motion picture One Angry Man has been released in 2010 throughout the US and Canada.

Mason's latest film Jackie Goldberg: Private Dick was a direct-to-DVD release, released by FilmWorks Entertainment.

Personal life[edit]

On August 14, 1991, Mason married Jyll Rosenfeld.[8] Mason is a registered Republican.[9]

Sheba Mason[edit]

Sheba Mason is the daughter of Jackie Mason. She is also a comedian.[10][11][12][13]

Controversy[edit]

1968 ad for the Jackie Mason Show

"Middle finger" incident[edit]

On October 18, 1964 in an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, Mason allegedly gave host Ed Sullivan the finger on air. Footage of the incident shows Mason doing his stand-up comedy act and then looking toward Sullivan, commenting that Sullivan was signaling him. Sullivan was reportedly letting Mason know (by pointing two fingers) that he had only a couple minutes left, as the program was about to cut away to show a speech by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Mason began working his own fingers in his act to make fun of the situation and pointed toward Sullivan with his middle finger slightly separated. Sullivan was clearly angered by this and banned Mason from the show. Mason denied knowingly giving Sullivan the middle finger; he later claimed that he had never even heard of the middle finger gesture at that time. In retaliation, to protect the perceived threat to his career, Mason filed a libel suit at the New York Supreme Court, which he won.[14]

Mason made a comeback appearance on the TV program two years later; and, Sullivan publicly apologized to him. At that time, Mason opened his monologue by saying, "It is a great thrill...and a fantastic opportunity to see me in person again." Mason would never appear on the show again.

Use of the term "schvartze"[edit]

In 1991, Mason was criticized by African-American organizations such as the NAACP when he called New York mayor David Dinkins "a fancy schvartze with a moustache."[15] He later apologized.

Statements on Palestinians[edit]

Mason counseled Israeli leaders to consider the total expulsion of Palestinians from Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip.[16] Mason and Raoul Felder wrote, "We have paralyzed ourselves by our sickening fear of World Opinion, which is why we find it impossible to face one simple fact: We will never win this war unless we immediately threaten to drive every Arab out of Israel if the killing doesn't stop."[16] They added:

Suzuki-McCullen altercation[edit]

On March 30, 2012, Mason was in an altercation with a friend at the time, Kaoru Suzuki-McCullen. Mason claimed that, while making her exit from his apartment (where Mason and his wife Jyll Rosenfeld live) on West 57th street in New York, Suzuki-McCullen attacked him. When the police arrived, Suzuki-McCullen claimed that she was attacked by Mason, but was arrested, with the police declining to arrest Mason.[17] On May 12, 2012, all charges were dropped against Suzuki-McCullen when both sides agreed to drop the matter.[18]

Jews for Jesus lawsuit[edit]

On August 28, 2006, Mason filed a lawsuit against the group Jews for Jesus for using his likeness in a pamphlet.[19] His image was used next to the tag line "Jackie Mason...a Jew for Jesus!?" Mason said in court papers filed in New York:

Mason has claimed that the group was using his image and fame to gain attention and converts. The group responded to the suit by saying, "Shame on him for getting so upset about this."[19] The lawsuit was settled in 2006, with Jews for Jesus apologizing.[20]

One Jerusalem[edit]

In January 2001, Mason co-founded the organization One Jerusalem in response to the Oslo peace agreement. Its stated cause is "Maintaining a united Jerusalem as the un-divided capital of Israel."[21]

Works[edit]

Selected TV, film and radio roles[edit]

Television specials[edit]

Discography[edit]

One-man shows[edit]

Writings[edit]

Video blogging[edit]

Mason has appeared in over 200 self-written video blog entries on YouTube, in which he gives his opinions on current events and politics. He has also experimented with podcasting, and in February 2012 appeared on the cult British podcast Answer Me This!, to promote his West End stand-up show, Fearless.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Jackie Mason". Comedy-Quotes.com. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Internet Broadway Database: Jackie Mason". The Broadway League. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Chris Bergeron (2008-09-20). "Frankie Valli, Jackie Mason to perform in Worcester". Daily News Transcript. Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  4. ^ Jackie Mason The Official Site: All About... Retrieved 2014-07-14
  5. ^ Ed Sullivan Show episode guide
  6. ^ Basile, Nancy. (2006) The Simpsons Awards, About.com, Accessed 29 August 2006.
  7. ^ Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time at the Internet Movie Database
  8. ^ IMDb.com
  9. ^ n/a, n/a. "Jackie Mason at NNDB". NNDB. Retrieved July 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ Sun Sentinel
  11. ^ The Wall Street Journal
  12. ^ New York Post
  13. ^ Forward.com
  14. ^ Ed Sullivan at IMDb.com
  15. ^ Metrolife: Jackie Mason Metro. June 13, 2006.
  16. ^ a b c Mason, Jackie and Raoul Felder. "Time to Threaten Arabs with Mass Eviction." The Jewish Press. January 29, 2003.
  17. ^ New York Post
  18. ^ New York Post
  19. ^ a b "Oy! Jackie Mason sues Jews for Jesus." MSNBC. August 25, 2006.
  20. ^ Anemona Hartcollis (2006-12-06). "To Settle Suit, Jews for Jesus Apologizes to Jackie Mason". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  21. ^ "About Us." One Jerusalem.

External links[edit]