Old Jews Telling Jokes (DVD Review)15 Aug, 2009 By: Isabella Hecht
Prebook 8/18/09; Street 9/15/09
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A Frenchman, a German and a Jew are walking in the desert. The Frenchman says, “I’m tired and thirsty, I must have wine.” The German says, “I’m tired and thirsty, I must have beer.” The Jew says, “I’m tired and thirsty, I must have diabetes.”
That’s about the only joke I can repeat from Old Jews Telling Jokes, a rather crude (to put it mildly) collection of, literally, old Jews telling jokes. At least you know exactly what you’re in for, although you may not expect the level of salaciousness. Though this 44-minute film is not rated, be warned that it’s definitely not for children.
None of the 18 jokesters featured are professional comedians. They take turns telling favorite jokes from their (very) long lives. Some are shaggy dog stories, some are short and snappy, but all are funny, and you don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate them. In fact, with most of these jokes, the only thing Jewish about them is the person telling them.
Some people may be disappointed by the lack of setting, for the jokes are told against a simple white background. Others may be bothered by the laugh track and repetitive klezmer music. But if you’re willing to bear the little annoyances, the jokes are worth your while.