For more information about each book (or to order them individually), click the titles below.
Allowing Drew Friedman to indulge his fondness for wrinkles and liver spots to the hilt, this portrait gallery of Jewish comedians born before 1930 includes the famous (Milton Berle, George Burns, Groucho Marx, Jerry Lewis, Alan King, Mel Brooks, Buddy Hackett, Phil Silvers, Jack Benny, Henny Youngman), the not-so-famous (Irwin Corey, Benny Rubin, Shelly Berman, Shecky Greene) and the largely unknown (Al Kelly, Menasha Skulnik). Old Jewish Comedians traces a direct link not only to the traditions of vaudeville and burlesque but to the once-thriving international Yiddish theatre and culture. Featuring a fascinating historical introduction by none other than Leonard Maltin!
This comprehensive collection of portraiture of Jewish comedians is a sequel to 2006's wildly popular Old Jewish Comedians, which earned Friedman raves from Jerry Lewis, Howard Stern, The Believer, Entertainment Weekly and many more, and earned Friedman his own roast at New York's legendary Friar's Club. This all-new collection includes the famous (Woody Allen, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Soupy Sales, etc.), the not-so-famous (Jerry Stiller, Zeppo & Gummo Marx, Larry Storch, Zero Mostel, etc.) and the largely unknown (Molly Picon, Herbie Faye, Jan Milton, etc.). The Reuben Award-winning Friedman, one of the great caricaturists of his age, presents a thorough visual history of the 20th Century's greatest Borscht-Belt comedians through 28 full-page portraits; every crease, mustache hair, and liver spot looks utterly real. As Booklist put it (after the first OJC), "If only we were all funny enough to get Friedman to draw us!"
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Master caricaturist/portraitist Drew Friedmans spectacular visual tribute to, well, old Jewish comedians returns with a third and concluding installment that throws its net a bit wider to include a few women (Olive Oyl voice Mae Questel, Ed Sullivan show regular Jean Carroll, and The Rise of the Goldbergs creator Gertrude Goldberg); a handful of more contemporary figures (Richard Belzer, whose Law & Order: SVU gig has eclipsed his stand-up comedy, and Welcome Back, Kotters Gabe Kaplan); and pop-culture legends (Prof. Irwin Corey, legendary Warner Bros. voice artist Mel Blanc), plus among others Marty Ingels, Fyvush Finkel, Gary Morton, Sam Levenson, Bobby Remsen, Max Patkin, Marvin Kaplan, Norm Crosby, Sammy Shore, Joey Adams, Lou Jacobi, and Sid James. Its a heaping pastrami sandwich of gloriously liver-spotted, wrinkled personalities, that will appeal to anyone who likes old people, Jews, or comedians.
Even More Old Jewish Comedians, which features a cover of comedian Stewie Stone, is augmented with an introduction from not-quite-old-yet Jewish comedian and Comedy Central roasts regular Jeffrey Ross.
Oy, the kvelling:
"Drew Friedman is the unchallenged living master of the art of caricature, pushing it far beyond the centuries-old tricks of clever physiognomic exaggeration and social skewering into a new, almost biological realm; his portraits and drawings have a lucidity that's unsettlingly scientific, as if Honore Daumier, Ivan Albright, and a forensic doctor were all guiding his hand. He makes me feel the fat hanging off my face and those tiny bumps on my arms that never seem to go away no matter how hard I scrub at them." – Chris Ware
"JESUS CHRIST! IT'S WONDERFUL! HOLY MOSES! WHAT A GREAT BOOK!" – Jerry Lewis
"You'd have to be absolutely mushugina to pass this book up." Juxtapoz
"This is a beautiful tribute to all the men & women who have made life a joy. If Job had a copy and had known these people, he would never had written that terrible book." Jerry Stiller
"I grew up adoring old Jewish comedians and through Drew Friedman's renditions, I now appreciate and love them more than ever. God bless these books!" Joe Franklin
Drew Friedman is better than Picasso. Howard Stern
Im proud to be in the old Jew book! Jerry Lewis
"A festival of drawing virtuosity and fabulous craggy faces. Drew Friedman might very well be the Vermeer of the Borscht Belt." – The New York Times Book Review
"Drew Friedman isn't just a brilliant artist. He takes you to a place. He takes you back in time. He makes you smell the stale cigarettes and cold brisket and you say, thank you for the pleasure." – Sarah Silverman
"Fabulous... sensational... on the nose. He really gets their attitude." – The Los Angeles Times
"Will have casual fans and serious collectors plotzing with joy over these greats of a bygone era." – The Forward
"A book that just begs to be shared. If you can look at them without smiling, you have no heart." – USA Today