Tis the season? Good For The Jews preps for tour

Good For The Jews (Rob Tannenbaum and David Fagin) kicks off a four-city tour with their funny Jewish comedian friends on Monday at the Highline Ballroom in NYC. They hit Los Angeles (Largo) on Dec. 9; Chicago's Lakeshore Theater, Dec. 19; and D.C.'s Jammin Java, Dec. 24.

Goodforthejews I asked Tannenbaum to explain his holiday tradition, and like any good journalist who shares a name with a Christmas tree song, he agreed!

"We tour throughout the year, but let’s face it, December is our biggest month. We’re like Mannheim Steamroller, or fruitcake — when people see us, they know the calendar year is almost over. It really is the worst possible month to be a Jew: The white sales haven’t started yet, and everywhere you go, you hear “Winter Wonderland.” Jews need cheering up in December, so we shlep around the country, focusing on safe and affluent cities with large Jewish populations. Idaho? Not really on our itinerary. South Dakota? I can find more Jews waiting to buy ground coffee on a Saturday morning at Zabar’s on the Upper West Side. We refuse to perform on shabbos, unless it’s a paying gig. And we refuse to play in any city that has ever had a pogrom, which rules out Detroit.

"Whenever possible, we like to have Jewish comedians appear with us. In previous years, we’ve had Dave Attell, Elon Gold, Jessi Klein, Dan Naturman, Todd Barry, and Rachel Feinstein, and this year we have Marc Maron, Seth Herzog, and Morgan Murphy — who is Jewish, even though she has the name of a barmaid at Rosie O’Grady’s. Fortunately for us, Jews tend to be pretty funny people. Our culture gives us many topics that naturally lead to laughter, like guilt, blueberry bagels, and the Holocaust.

"I grew up listening to the Golden Age of Jewish comics: Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Leonard Cohen. But when I heard “Jewish music,” I couldn’t understand why it was so boring and earnest. “Jewish music” reminded me of Hebrew school, which has imprisoned more young Jews than Hitler ever dreamed of. In Good For the Jews, we make Jewish music for people who don’t like Jewish music. I’ve been doing this for ten years, way before it was cool. I was writing Jewish songs when Matisyahu was still eating bacon burgers. If you like Jon Stewart, you should come see us. If you like Israeli folk dancing, you should not come see us. We’re not products of the generation that gave you the JDL and Joe Lieberman — we’re from the generation of The Hebrew Hammer and Sarah Silverman, whom I’m mentioning by name in the hope that she’ll come to see us."

Here's a clip of Good For The Jews in action:

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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3 thoughts on “Tis the season? Good For The Jews preps for tour

  1. I saw them in Manhattan last December. Terrible! Out of tune singing and tired misogynistic material.

  2. The guy in the black shirt used to be in a band called The Greenbergs and the chubby guy in blue is the one who sings bad and is douchy on stage.

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