I've never seen performers go that far before, it's awesome! Israeli humor is such a refreshing dose of pure laughter. Some of the shows I see have English subtitles, some I just have to wing it by understanding 50% of what's being said. I am laughing my sides out either way.
Why is Israeli comedy the true heir to Jewish humor? Three reasons:
1. The situation in the Middle East. In the movie “Funny People,” Adam Sandler plays a comedian alongside Seth Rogen, who also plays a comedian. “You will never be as funny as me.” stresses Sandler. “Why is that?” Rogen asks. “Because all your parents did was ignore you a little. My father beat the crap out of me.” The dire the circumstances, the greater the need for humor. In a society that is on the edge every moment of its existence, anyone with any type of comedic skill becomes as important as a doctor or soldier. It is his or her job to make sure we crack up in order to keep us from cracking up. Laughter is a survival instinct, and the best comedians produce comedy with years of experience acting on it.
2. Israel has a lot more material. We are a nation that just endured the murder of a third of its population always in danger of getting wiped out completely by over a billion people who don't like us. In the face of people taking knives and randomly slitting our throats, everything we do to merely defend ourselves gets attacked by the world as if we are acting exactly like the people who murdered six million of our brothers and sisters. Now THAT’S FREAKIN FUNNY! There is so much intensity that happens here. So much vengeance. So much conflict. So much injustice, struggle, and passion – to make fun of any of it is pretty simple. It's kind of like picking apples from a tree after an earthquake – how hard is that?
3. When it comes to laughter, anything goes. The only concept of PC here is Proudly Candid. You can do just about anything in the realm of fun and not be called racist. Everything is in bounds. Most of what you see here wouldn't pass the Hollywood thought police. Case in point: my favorite Israeli episode is from the hit show Ramzor. It's called “Kululululu.” The star, Adir Miller, plays a man about to get married. He is Hungarian, and his fiancée is of Libyan Jewish heritage. They have a disagreement about how their wedding should be themed, Ashkenazi or Sephardi (European or Middle Eastern). Then they both go to sleep and dream. Adir Miller dreams about what would happen if his bride got her way . . . his best friends wearing Arab keffiyehs and shooting rifles in the air. Then his bride dreams of what would happen if she gave in . . . a wedding hall filled with old and stale white people all eating cholent and complaining! This is followed by her groom lamenting all his relatives who died in the Holocaust who couldn't be there. Sephardim are portrayed as circumcised Arabs and Ashkenazim are seen as perpetual whiners. Anywhere else you have lawsuits. Here, it's a classic.
Israel reminds us why there is no humor like Jewish humor. Only a people who have been through so much, can become so-trained to keep the wheels of life turning with the oil of jocularity.