Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Stretch

The Haunted Smile: The Story Of Jewish Comedians In America came out several years ago, and I finally got around to reading it. A worthwhile subject, but a disappointing treatment. While I enjoyed the trip down memory lane, the analysis of how comedy and the Jewish experience related to each other was shallow and sometimes downright silly.

For instance, here's a bit on the mirror scene from Duck Soup: "Harpo was trying to hide by imitating someone else, just as many immigrants and their children believed they had to hide their true selves to imitate Americans."

Come now.


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