Jews have always been involved in the American comedy scene. I won't get into the history, frankly because I don't have that kind of time right now. But this December, a group of writers and content creators/producers are gathering in Jerusalem to talk about Jews, comedy and how the two can come together for social change in a first-of-its-kind conference called "Comedy for a Change." And to celebrate Jews and comedy - and promote the conference - the organizers (including the incredible and creative Omri Marcus, profiled in Tablet Magazine earlier this year) have unleashed GoHora.com, a somehow alarmingly-perfect mashup of today's greatest musical hits and videos of people doing Israeli dancing. (So if the goal was to prove that Jews could make those songs funnier, then DONE.)
Featuring some of the world's leading TV writers and execs, including BBC Director of Television Danny Cohen, as speakers, the Comedy for a Change conference is designed to address how, in today's modern media reality, comedy can be a powerful game changer. What's funny today? What's taboo? And what will happen when writers - the comedy and content creators from all over the world - come together with the idea of change as an organizing principle?
Speakers hail from countries including the US, Canada, Israel, The Netherlands, Denmark and others, and include Natalie Marcus and Assaf Beiser, the co-creators of the recently-aired, envelope-pushing historical sketch comedy show, "The Jews Are Coming" (which I wrote about here last year, and which is the subject of an upcoming follow-up piece). The agenda also features a salute to the late Joan Rivers, and the mayor of Jerusalem being interviewed by a puppet. In one session, writers of the American, German and Israeli versions of "The Office" will gather in a workshop called - of course - "That's What She Said." (Full agenda is here.)