Uncomfortable laughter: Mason brings searing comic sensibilities to Howard Theatre Saturday

Known for his singular wit and inimitable New York timbres, Jackie Mason, now 85, will entertain District audiences at the Howard Theatre Saturday, during which the funnyman jests that his material will be “as fresh as the news.”

“If it’s in the news, it’s in the show. That’s the slogan I’ve used for the last 40 years,” Mr. Mason told The Washington Times ahead of his show Saturday afternoon. “People have a fear that when you come to see an old Jew tell jokes, you’re going to get an old story from a hundred years ago,” he said.

Mr. Mason has been telling jokes since the golden age of television, where he brushed elbows with the likes of Mel Brooks and Ed Sullivan. On Sullivan’s show, according to legend, Mr. Mason once made “obscene gestures on-camera.” This led to a public fallout and Sullivan canceling Mr. Mason’s agreed-upon six appearances on his show, according to The New York Times.

Mr. Mason said District audiences can certainly expect a decent helping of political jokes with the election just weeks away, as well as him riffing on such seemingly mundane subjects as the new iPhone. He even uses Black Lives Matter for comical fodder — but through his own cultural sensibilities.

“I do a whole routine about how come you never hear about how Jews matter?” he said.

Mr. Mason’s stand-up specials have included “The World According to Me,” “Jackie Mason in Israel,” “Jackie Mason on Campus” and “Jackie Mason: The Ultimate Jew.”


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