Comedy Fundraiser at The Actor’s Temple
When Bob Greenberg puts a show together, he puts a show together! I flew back from LA just to be in it! (Well actually, I was due to come back that day, but one of the reasons I decided to return that day was to be in Bob’s show and to host the late show at The Comic Strip, which I do every Sunday and Monday!)
There is a fabulous Temple on West 47th Street that each year is the beneficiary of a comedy event produced and MC’ed by Bob Greenberg, whose impressions of Jackie Gleason, Ed Norton, Oliver Hardy, and Stan Laurel just to name a few are killer! I’ve had the pleasure of performing with Bob several times and he’s always so funny!
The Actor’s Temple is actually Congregation Ezrath Israel, which was founded in 1917. The building we were in dates from 1923. Some of their former members were show business greats like Al Jolson, Joe E. Lewis, Sophie Tucker, Jack Benny, Red Buttons, Edward G. Robinson, and even my original sponsor in The Friars Club, Milton Berle. And to show you how powerful this Temple is, none of them were even Jewish! (LOL) Of course they were! In those days, EVERYONE was Jewish! (LOLOL)
Rabbi/Cantor Jill Hausman officiates at The Temple and she is the sweetest, kindest person you could ever want to meet. She thanked each of the performers personally with a big hug, which most comedy club owners don’t do! (Fortunately! LOL)
The place was packed so tight, you couldn’t even squeeze a Torah in there. We were packing them in by the “minyans!” And there were still almost as many comics as there were audience members! (LOL) This was Bob’s line-up in alphabetical order: Debbie Bazza, Ross Bennett, Sandy Ehlers, Mike Fine, Robin Fox, Joe Franklin, me – Jeffrey Gurian, Harriet Holloway, Rhonda Handome, Doug Kleiman, Dave Konig, Nancy Lombardo, Steven Scott, Stone and Stone, Mike Toro, and Doug Nervik. There were enough jokes to feed a village! And every single one of them did great!
It was especially great for me, cause I got to do a lot of my “Jewish” material, and I got to do it for Joe Franklin, who I don’t think had ever seen me perform, except as a guest on his show several times. Joe and I actually inaugurated a new radio show together last year!
I wanted to try and get a photo of ALL of the comics who performed but I didn’t have a wide enough lens! Actually they all scattered like a herd of wildebeestes, when a lion showed up at the watering hole, so I wasn’t able to get one! Hopefully next year, … in Jerusalem!
Thanks Bob for all you do!