Jackie Mason is a comedy legend and one of few remaining borscht belt comics still working and filling rooms. Jackie Mason Comedy Trilogy is a must have for any Jewish comedy fan. It is also a must have for any stand-up fan period. Comedy Trilogy includes my all time favorite Mason show, Jackie Mason On Campus and two other great Mason shows.
Jackie Mason :An Equal Opportunity Offender is an interesting hour long biography that includes the famous bit on The Ed Sullivan Show that killed his career until he was finally able to resurrect it much later and a few moments from his legendary The World According To Me. It also includes bits and pieces from other shows such as Politically Incorrect where he does a great bit on OJ Simpson and calling Clinton a liar, as well as some rare footage of Mason at the National Press Club. What I really like about Equal Opportunity Offender is this biography gives a lot of room to the man's stand-up comedy, something few similar shows ever do.
Jackie Mason On Campus has always been a personal favorite. This is probably due to the fact this show taped at Oxford University when Mason became a member of the Oxford Union Society is more of a seemingly improvised address than your usual stand-up comedy performance though here the difference between an address and a performance is hard to see. Mason begins with a very funny bit on how Oxford students dressed down for his special occasion. If you have ever wondered why American comics bomb in England and why British stand-ups bomb in the states, the answer is in Jackie Mason On Campus.
It is in On Campus that Mason states he is the only Jew too Jewish for show business. He has a very funny and yet poignant bit on why education is important for the Jewish people. His take on various professions favored in a Jewish family, the differences between gentiles and Jews, and their choices in cars are also very funny bits.
Jackie Mason On Campus also works because a lot of it is seemingly improvised as Mason answers questions from the audience. The questions are about religion, comedic subject matter -a questions Mason turns into an examination of using foul language and, interestingly, is bleeped once when Mason uses four letter word as an example. This show also includes a very funny bit on how polite the English are versus how rude the members of the English parliament are. If you are a Mason fan, you will notice how seamlessly he goes from the question to some of his usual stage material such as the difference between Jews and gentiles, food, and pills and health food. His answer to doing jokes on race is quite interesting.
The most bizarre moment in Jackie Mason On Campus is when he talks about the Bush presidency. He is talking about Bush senior but his comments eerily apply to George junior.
Jackie Mason In Israel is the third hour-long show on Jackie Mason Comedy Trilogy. It is hard to understand why such a large crowd can be so reserved in its laughter but then again Mason himself is much harder to understand here than in On Campus or Equal Opportunity Offender. His opening routine about the United Jewish Appeal is very good. His observations on language used to describe women (girl, woman, lady, sweetheart) is also a lot of fun and his segue into political correctness absolutely smooth.
Mason's most biting routine is in the In Israel show where he talks about how American Jews do not want to look jewish and try to pass as gentile. I also liked his sometimes hard to understand routine about Jews on vacation.
Jackie Mason Comedy Trilogy is a three-hour 3 shows feast for any fan of Jewish stand-up comedy, Jackie Mason, and comedy in general.
Other Jackie Mason Reviews
The World According To Me: this stand-up comedy CD is a masterpiece
The Ultimate Jew Live On Broadway: An excellent DVD by a comedy legend.