Book Review: Steve Martin’s “Born Standing Up”

steve martinIn 1981, when Steve Martin finally hung up his mike or whatever stand-ups do when they retire, he was if not bigger than Jesus, then certainly up there with some of the disciples. (more…)

Book Review: Slavoj Zizek’s “In Defence of Lost Causes”

415-31-defence-lost-causesIf you had to put money on which academic would be the first to play Wembley Arena live, you’d have to go for Slavoj Zizek. Once dubbed the “Elvis of Cultural Theory”, Zizek is the prolific author of some 40 books ranging in subject from Hitchcock to Christianity, from the Iraq war to Lacanian psychoanalysis, books that are so full of erudition and eclectic thought that to write just one of them would have killed an ordinary man. (more…)

Should comedians have a conscience?

chris mNow here’s something I wrote a few years ago and the theme of it still obsesses me. Whether comedy has a morality or not. Recently I’ve been thinking about whether it’s acceptable to make jokes about the Holocaust. As a Jew, maybe I can get away with it. It occured to me to do a show about this when at one gig I was handed a note backstage before the start saying “We are a bunch of Holocaust survivors from Auschwitz. Could you please say hello to us during the show”. (more…)

Jew travels to Germany shock

German jew

Here’s a thing I wrote about 10 years ago after my first trip to Deutschland…

I have recently returned from making a film in Germany. It was a significant event for me, not just because the script was wonderful, my fellow actors were marvellous and all those other well-known Paltrowisms. It was significant because the film was shot in Germany and I am – well, there’s no other way to say it – I’m Jewish. A Jew. Ein Jude. (more…)

“Ugly Man”

uglyman

I got a phone call from my agent a couple of days ago. That’s always a good thing for an actor but this phone call was particularly good. Would I like to audition for a nice little cameo in a major feature film to be directed by one of the most famous directors in the world? It was, as they say, a no-brainer. One small drawback: the part I would be auditioning for was called “Ugly Man”. (more…)

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