Cats. They’ve got fans and foes in this country, but one group of media communication students from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya is looking out for this particular stray population. As part of their viral advertising class, the students created a pro-cat video promoting TNR, Trap Neuter Return in Tel Aviv, a method endorsed by the ASPCA for controlling feral cat societies.
With photos and lyrics parodying “I’m sexy and I know it,” the song from American electropop duo LMFAO, the idea was to create an “original production” about Tel Aviv’s stray cats, said Yuna Klimenko, one of the IDC students.
“We thought that cats are people’s favorite pets,” said Klimenko.
Not exactly, but it depends who you ask. Local folklore has it that the British are to blame for Israel’s stray cat population, having brought cats in during the period of the Mandate in order to get rid of rats.
Yet the problem could have been created long before that: Geneticists from the National Cancer Institute study established that the world’s 600 million cats are descended from five wildcat matriarchs, including at least one from deserts of Israel, so it may be that the British are not entirely to blame.
Source: Times of Israel
When the pint-sized star tells her mom Helen that she’d be moving in with her BFF Jenni “JWoww ” Farley, her mother asks, “Are you going to split the food bill down the middle?”
And of course, Snooki has a colorful reply.
“Is kosher the right word for Jenni?”
Snooki’s mom replies, “I do know that’s the food that Jewish people eat.” They then say in unison with a laugh, “Jenni’s not Jewish.”
The mommy-to-be then elaborates by saying, “I think kosher food is like organic, healthy food. But Jewish people eat organic food too, so I feel like it’s all the same.”
Canada’s national standup comedy club, Yuk Yuk’s, is heading to the Holy Land – and bringing with it a taste of unique Canadian humour.
Mark Breslin, founder and CEO of the world’s largest chain of comedy clubs, will be bringing six of his top comedians to perform at selected venues in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, along with some surprise locations along the way. The tour takes place from May 30th to June 7th, and will form the basis of a documentary exploring the role of culture and comedy in Canada and Israel – and how the trip impacts the comedians themselves. The documentary will be produced and directed by Igal Hecht, who has produced over 50 documentary films, including the award winning “Shield of Solomon” (2009) and “The Hilltops” (2011). Hecht’s most recent project was “Muzika”, a television series highlighting the top names in Israeli music. Muzika is currently airing in the US and Canada.
The comics on this groundbreaking tour are Aaron Berg, Nikki Payne, Rebecca Kohler, Jean-Paul, Sam Easton, and Michael Khardas. Two are Jewish, and four are non-Jewish.
The tour is sponsored by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and several supporting contributors, with co-sponsorship from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The documentary will be aired on the CBC, with plans for later submission to film and documentary festivals around the world.
Breslin was excited for the trip, which he sees as strengthening the friendship between Canada and Israel through the universal medium of comedy. “I’m hoping that this can begin a cultural exchange of comedy between the two nations,” said Breslin. “My plans are to meet with a variety of Israeli comics in the hopes of having them perform for Canadian audiences in our clubs across Canada.”
Yuk Yuk’s has been responsible for launching the careers of renowned comics like Howie Mandel and Jim Carrey, with its clubs presenting comedy to over one million Canadians annually since being established in 1976. “Comedy reveals a great deal about one’s country, and it’s a great way to connect with others across cultures and borders,” said Breslin. “Without question, the Middle East and the world in general needs more laughter.”
Yuks Yuks Canadian Comics at AACI!
Canadian Comedians Nikki Payne, Aaron Berg, Sam Easton, Rebecca Kohler and Jean Paul are coming all the way from Canada to perform for you, here at AACI!
Including a variety of backgrounds and performance highlights such as Saturday Night Live, Just For Laughs, Winnipeg Comedy Festival, Comedy Night in Canada, and a variety of television shows and movies, these Comedians are coming to ply their trade in solidarity with Israel. Come on out and show them our support for their efforts and craft.
When: Thursday, May 31, 21:00
Where: AACI – Dr. Max and Gianna Glassman Family Center
Cost: 40 NIS/30 NIS for AACI members
Pre-register at 02-566-1181
One night, two hilarious shows!at Off The Wall Comedy Basement The Best Place To Laugh In The Holy City – For more info click here
The East Coast is famous for it’s seafood; fiddle music and a little lady who humps things, named Nikki Payne. Growing up in a trailer park with a speech impediment may sound tragic to many, but it is comedic gold to Nikki Payne. Not letting anything stand in her way, she has been nominated for two Gemini Awards, and has won countless Canadian Comedy Awards.She is most known for her appearance on NBC’s ‘Last Comic Standing’ and Much Music’s ‘Video on Trial’. Nikki has written for ‘This Hour Has 22 Minutes”, ‘Comedy Inc’ and ‘Pop- Cultured’. Nikki’s CTV’s ‘Comedy Now’ special is one of the highest rated ever in all the world’s history!
To quote Nikki’s mom, “She’s just so darn cute”, you won’t want to miss it!
“There are few comics around doing this material. Lenny Bruce would approve.” NOW MAGAZINE“A Breakout star!” ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT“There is a new barbarian knocking at the gates of comedy.”
Originally from Toronto, Aaron was the winner of the 2007 COCA Comedian of the Year Award. It’s not just what Aaron does that makes him who he is but what he doesn’t do as well…One of a select group of comedians to turn down Last Comic Standing auditions due to it’s irreverent approach to mediocrity gives him a great crutch known as integrity. Aaron has been nominated for two Canadian Comedy Awards and is the writer/performer of THE UNDERBELLY DIARIES, the sordid tales of his part time experiences as a male stripper. Aaron has also appeared in award winning films, as well as the cult hit DETROIT
“Offbeat brilliance” Brad Oswald, Winnipeg Free Press
“Whether it’s acting, or alone behind a mike, Sam Easton is one to watch” Guy Macpherson, Georgia Straight
Star of FINAL DESTINATION 3 and THE L WORD. Winner of The Phil Hartman Award, nominated for the Tim Sims Award, and two Canadian Comedy Awards.
Fathered by an eccentric and quick-witted Canadian diplomat, Rebecca Kohler has made her home all over the world. From Brazil to Thailand, Rebecca learned that the one thing that tied people together was their love of laughter – and pointing at her. After moving to Montreal, Rebecca took the stage for the first time and was met with great success. The laughter remained, but the pointing (mostly) stopped. Her credits include: The Broad Appeal Show, The Just For Laughs Homegrown Competition (local), The Young Guns of Stand Up Comedy, The New Voices of Comedy, The Geeks of Comedy and Comedy Night In Canada at the Just For Laughs Festival.
“Savage wit and spontaneous combustion combine into an explosive comedic barrage. This cat is fearless. In terms of any kind of act, he works without a net. He is so freewheeling it’s almost psychedelic.” Daryl Jung, NOW MAGAZINE
Jean Paul’s comedy is culled from his cultural crazy quilt of a childhood – born in Trinidad, raised in Brooklyn and currently residing in Toronto.
This in itself explains his kaleidoscope of accents. He’s funked up, has a twinkle in his eyes and is deadly articulate. Feeding off the vibe of a room makes his performances electrifying. Says Jean Paul, “I was always into comedy, even as a kid. I found it fascinating. Some of my friends were into model car kits. I was into Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Bill Cosby”
Michael Khardas is an Israeli-Canadian writer and performer based out of Toronto, Canada. Michael has been doing stand up comedy since the tender age of 18, performing for a variety of different venues internationally. Having performed all over North America, Europe, and Israel, Michael has crafted his style of Jewish ethnic comedy to entertain even the toughest of spectators, all while utilizing the gentle art of clean comedy.
In June 2007, he was featured in a full page article in the Jerusalem Post, praising him as one of the top English speaking comedians to come out of Israel. Michael is currently working as a writer and comedian in the Canadian comedy circuit.
In 1974, Breslin opened the first Yuk Yuk’s, in the basement of Toronto’s Church Street Community Centre. Two years and many sweaty shows later, the Yuk Yuk’s flag ship was moved to 1280 Bay Street in the trendy Yorkville district. Over the next decade, Yuk Yuk’s would expand to its present reach of fourteen clubs across Canada.
Breslin has produced such television programs as “Late Night with Joan Rivers” for Fox Broadcasting, “Yuk Yuk’s – the TV show” for CBC TV and “Mondo Taboo”, two pay-per-view specials for The Movie Network. He was executive producer on “Friday Night with Ralph Benmergui” for CBC TV and “Yuk Yuk’s 25th Anniversary Special” for the Comedy Network. Currently, Breslin is a story consultant on “Kenny vs Spenny” for
CBC TV and Showcase.
Andy Levy-Ajzenkopf, Staff Reporter, Friday, May 11, 2012
While there, the comics will be shadowed by a CBC film crew, led by Toronto director Igal Hecht, for a documentary to be released later this year.
In a recent interview with The CJN, Yuk Yuks president and CEO, Mark Breslin, said he’ll be making his first visit to the Holy Land along with the standup comedians – three Jewish, three not – and is looking forward to further connecting with his Jewish roots.
The comedians are Rebbecca Kohler, Aaron Berg, Sam Easton, Jean Paul, Nikki Payne and Michael Khardas. The latter is an Israeli Canadian.
In a country that’s experienced its fair share of sorrow and hardship, a comedy trip to Israel seems like a potentially great balm for a perpetually stressed Israeli populace. But Breslin expects that the country will also have a significant impact on his own retinue.
While the touring comics hope to “kill” audiences in Israel, the country and its diverse cultures will likely affect the travelling Canadian comedians and their material, Breslin said.
The weeklong comedy trip runs from May 30 to June 7.
They’ll be doing standup gigs in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Herzliya, as well as meeting with a number of Israeli comedians to share their experiences and engage in a comedic cultural exchange.
Breslin said the idea for the trip stemmed from his anger at the anti-Israel events that unfolded at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). What he witnessed from the boycott, divestment and sanctions advocates at the time – various filmmakers and actors vocally opposed TIFF’s spotlight on Tel Aviv films at the time – sent him into a fury.
“There were some people in the arts who protested and thought it was wrong” to spotlight Israel, he said. “So I thought, what if I did an Israeli comedy festival in Toronto. Would they picket me or was comedy not important enough?”
While that question wasn’t answered, the Israeli consulate in Toronto helped plant the seeds of this upcoming trip.
“I approached the Israeli government in Toronto and asked about what kind of access there might be to English-speaking comics in Israel” with the goal of bringing them to Canada, Breslin said.
He found out that there was indeed an English comedy circuit in Israel that might send some comedians to Canada. But the consulate proposed another idea: sending a group of Canadian comedians to Israel.
Breslin said before that talk, he’d never considered that option.
“Of the seven of us going, only one has ever been to Israel, Michael, who’s one of our fledgling comics,” he said.
The trip is also part of a plan to capitalize on the burgeoning international appetite for English-speaking comedians, Breslin said.
“Did you know there’s a comic circuit in Scandinavia for English-speaking comics?” he asked rhetorically. “And as far as I know, no one has yet taken a look at Israel as a place where people have taken a new interest in standup comedy, which they obviously have. Everyone [in Israel] speaks English, pretty much.”
He cited comedy clubs springing up in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other towns in Israel.
Breslin said it’s not out of the question that a Yuk Yuks franchise could work in Israel, specifically in Tel Aviv, and it’s something he’ll look into while there.
“If I found someone who could run it, a franchisee, it’s not impossible,” he said.
On a personal note, this being his first trip to Israel, he said now that he’s turned 60, it’s time to make the journey.
“In my assimilated, arty circle, it’s not unusual” to have not visited Israel, he said, adding: “I married a German. Does it get more assimilated than that?”
Breslin said his family has been in Canada since the 1880s, so their connection to Europe and the Middle East was always distant.
Not having led a “traditional” Jewish life, he said during the course of his career he hasn’t had much room to express his Jewishness.
“I’ve always looked for ways to do this. I don’t have a political attachment to Israel. I don’t belong to a shul. My community is less Jewish and more multicultural. But this trip may be one of the ways I can connect with the Jewish strand in my life. I couldn’t [connect] in a conventional way because I don’t do anything in a conventional way,” he joked.
“But in the end, I enjoy being a Jew. I don’t think enough people say that,” he said.
Bringing the conversation back to comedy, Breslin noted that the history of the craft is laden with Jewish influence but the old days of Jewish comedians dominating the landscape of North American comedy – the Borsht Belt circuit being one example – are over. But there is a new flavour of Jewish comedy in the world, and it’s emerging from the Holy Land.
“The history of comedy as we know it is very much the history of Jewish comedy. And the idea that there may be a place in the world now, Israel, that is going to continue on in creating a new tradition of Jewish comedy, really excites me and interests me,” he said.
It will also be an apolitical trip, Breslin said, noting he ensured that all the comedians had “good feelings” about Israel before embarking on the tour.
His goal for the trip to expose people to how “great a country Israel is.”
“It’s a progressive country. The people going on this trip are not religious people, to put it mildly. The Israel we’re interested in is the one that is a beacon of western thought and democracy in the Middle East,” Breslin said.
He added: “As artists, a lot of the time we identify with the outsiders and [one area] where we note this is happening is in Tel Aviv’s huge gay community. Also, there’s an explosion of Israeli filmmaking happening. The political debate on Israel has been going of for so long… there’s a lot of other stuff in Israel that should be seen.”
Lastly, Breslin said he hasn’t let go of the idea of bringing Israeli comics to Canada as part of a cross-cultural initiative.