Celebrating the great Jewish comedians: Mel Brooks as a waiter at the Last Supper

A photo of Mel Brooks taken for Mademoiselle Magazine while Brooks was filming “History of the World: Part I” in 1980-81.

BY JORDAN PALMER

In the 1982 film, “My Favorite Year,” the lead character, Bengie Stone, a Jewish comedy writer who worked on a fictional version of Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Show’s” is on a date, and trying to explain to his non-Jewish date, that “Jews know three things, suffering, where to find great Chinese food, and funny.”

That line is sort a punchline within a sterotype that so many of the great early comedians through present day are Jewish. Well, I guess we like to laugh and make people laugh. What’s wrong with that?

And that sentiment is alive and well, and celebrated daily on the website Jewish Humor Central. Each day, the masterminds at this website send out a daily email, reminding us all to remember to laugh, at least once a day.

On Thursday’s the site publishes, their Throwback Thursday, which features a funny clip from the past. Check it out here on The Jewish Light every Thursday, or visit their site to sign up for their daily newsletter.

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Today’s Chuckle

One of Mel Brooks’ funniest bits is a scene from his 1981 film A History of the World: Part 1, in which Brooks, in the role of a waiter, is assigned to serve a group attending a private supper in Jerusalem.

He enters the room to find Jesus and his disciples sitting around a long table. Oblivious to the background of the diners and unsuspecting of the significance of what would later be seen as a seminal event, he asks for their dinner orders and whether the diners want separate checks.

When Leonardo da Vinci enters to capture the Last Supper in the famous painting, Brooks manages to insert himself into the picture.