The savvy Jackie Mason gears up for his new show
JEWS are not mechanically inclined, comic Jackie Mason has famously stated in his stand-up routines. Mason himself, however, is not a Luddite. He is a video blogger. His upcoming show, “Jackie Mason: The Ultimate Jew,” includes bits on iPhones and Google. And his preferred method of communication for this interview? E-mail.
How does the comedian, now in his 70s, remain so current? “I work constantly,” he states. “I read six newspapers a day; I am a TV news junkie; I keep Fox News Channel on all day! The best way to stay relevant is to simply listen to your audience.”
For Mason’s five-performance run at the Wadsworth Theater in Brentwood, expect topical issues such as diet obsessions, “Britney Spears and the other bimbettes” and the election. Some of these matters have been addressed on Mason’s video blog (you tube.com/theultimatejew).
Mason’s manager suggested a blog six months ago, and Mason has since posted more than 100 videos with over 1.5 million cumulative views. His entries display his unabashed conservative bent. “It is easier to find uranium at Whole Foods than it is to find a Jewish Republican entertainer,” Mason, a former rabbi, says. “But I call them as I see them, and I don’t apologize for it. A Jew would rather be bitten by [a] contaminated turtle than vote Republican.”
The blog is bipartisan with its harsh words targeting Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama (“this country means nothing to you if he’s your favorite candidate”) and John McCain (“a blatant, out-and-out disgusting lowlife” for saying Mitt Romney wanted timetables in Iraq), and even George W. Bush (on immigration: “How hard is it to build a wall?”). “I was rooting for Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney, but hey, you can’t win them all,” he says.
“About 75% of the people who respond to the blog are great,” he adds, “but the remaining 25% is pure hatred, which is so violent and vitriolic it gives me a good laugh. It is amazing what people will say when they hide behind a computer! Or in a cave!”
Mason’s Wadsworth performances are a warm-up for his 10-week off-Broadway run, set to begin previews March 18. “This is my last New York engagement,” he insists. “It takes me about two years to write a new show, and . . . I need to do a lot of tryouts at clubs around the country, and have so many one-nighters and tours set through 2011 that I don’t have the luxury to do a proper workout.” To wit: Mason is planning a West End run and dates in Britain, other parts of Europe and Australia. He also has a syndicated radio show and will soon announce a film project.
“This will be my eighth one-man show, and I feel that I have been there/done that,” he writes. “In fact, if it weren’t for this being an election year with such a wealth of material, I probably wouldn’t have even done this one, but I have to admit I just couldn’t resist.”
JACKIE MASON: THE ULTIMATE JEW
WHERE: Wadsworth Theater, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.
WHEN: Wed. through March 9.
INFO: (213) 365-3500; broadwayla.org