How the Jews Invented Stand-Up Comedy

Every stand-up comedian - from Chris Rock to  the fictitious Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - is participating in an art form that one can easily describe as "the Jews' Blues". 

But what is it about Judaism as a religion that helped create the modern stand-up comedian?


Of course there's the fact that so many of comedy's groundbreakers in America have been Jewish. Jack Benny. Milton Berle. Lenny Bruce. Joan Rivers. Billy Crystal. Garry Shandling. Jerry Seinfeld. Jon Stewart.

But the essence of stand-up is found throughout Jewish teaching.  The story of Joseph and his brothers. Rabbi Hillel's famous Summation of the Torah as "the golden rule and the rest is commentary". Even how stand-up reflects the Jewish ideas of sin and repentance.

Join stand-up comic, speaker, and TV personality Leigh Kessler,  from Vh1's "Best Week Ever"and CNN's "Showbiz Tonight", as he explores how the artform of stand-up comedy, as it is today, is a product of both Jewish experience and Jewish teachings.

Hello friends!


First, this is my new keynote: How the Jews Invented Stand-Up Comedy.


Second, I'm sharing it with you because my social network consists of Brandeis, USY, summer camp, synagogue, and being married to a girl from Long Island. So there's a good chance you either book speakers for Jewish audiences or are connected to people who do.


My presentation is great for synagogue or federation events because you get the benefit of stand-up related programming, but without the the challenges of putting on a comedy show.


Plus, in case the commemorative pink Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Maxwell House Haggadah didn't make it clear, stand-up comedy and the Jewish experience is pretty big these days.

So, if you'd like to know more, or want me to connect with someone who would, then, third, please email me.  It's a great program for reaching new audiences in a way that connects with their Jewish identity.

Interested? Let's talk!