AirTalk

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The Catskill Mountains: Where stand-up comedy got its start

by AirTalk

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Popular actor and comedian Jerry Lewis often jokes about being Jewish. Getty Images

Comedians would agree that stand-up comedy has its roots in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. The mountains were a popular vacation spot where New Yorkers went to cool off in the summer, but it quickly became a proving grounds for young Jewish comedians looking to hone their skills. The new film “When Comedy Went to School,” uses interviews with prominent comedians and historians to trace back the history of Jewish-American comedy. 

Guests:

Ron Frank, Director, “When Comedy Went to School” - a documentary tracing the roots of Jewish American comedy

Lawrence J. Epstein, Author, “The Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America”

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