Kvetch Comedy: Jackie Mason brings his schtick to Brighton Beach

Brooklyn Daily
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He’s ruled the Borscht Belt and Broadway — now he’s coming to Brooklyn.

On Oct. 27, Jackie Mason headlines the Master Theater in Brighton Beach for a night of new stand-up. Despite more than 50 years in the comedy biz, the 82-year-old funnyman is never short on fresh material. Known as much for the take-no-prisoners political satire that earned him the nickname “equal opportunity offender” as he is his heavy Jewish accent, Mason finds plenty of inspiration in the day’s headlines.

“My motto is, ‘If it’s in the news, it’s in the show,’” said Mason. “Of course, I am not going to give you any of the jokes, you have to pay to hear them.”

Like many Jewish-American comedians back in the day, Mason cut his teeth playing the circuit of now-defunct resorts of the Catskills. He quickly became a household name, with career highlights including regular performances on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in the 1960s, winning a Tony Award for his 1984 Broadway show “The World According to Me,” followed by an Emmy for his guest work on “The Simpsons.” And then there was the time a chair for contemporary Judaic and Hebraic study was named after him at Oxford University.

That last honor isn’t so random. Before there was the Catskills or Sullivan, the kvetch comic started his career not in showbiz, but in the family business as a rabbi. It didn’t take long for him to find his true calling, but Mason never abandoned his faith.

“I am most proud of the fact that I was able to become an international star without compromising who I am,” said Mason, “and the fact that I am a very proud Jew.”

When not bringing his show on the road or doing the odd film job, Mason often finds himself in Brooklyn, exploring the borough’s dining scene.

“In the summer, I love to go to the Russian restaurants on the Boardwalk,” said the native New Yorker. “I also love Williamsburg and all the new restaurants there.”

With a comedy career spanning five decades on the stage and screen, what’s next for the stand-up legend?

“I hope it’s the same thing that I always enjoyed before,” said Mason, “the pleasure of being able to bring laughter and happiness to people.”

Jackie Mason at the Master Theater [1029 Brighton Beach Ave. at Brighton 11th Street in Brighton Beach, (718) 732–3838,], Oct. 27, 7 pm, $55–$125.

Posted 12:00 am, October 25, 2013
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