Jackie Mason’s Still Got It

Jackie Mason performed what he called a “work-shop” show this past Saturday night at the Queens Theatre in the Park, in Flushing, Queens. This was a performance where Mason was trying out new material to prep for more high-level venues next year. He felt the audience should have had to pay more to hear his jokes.

And to be honest, Mason was right on. Classic one-liners over and over again. The man is a machine. Tickets were $45, but Mason delivered a $150 show.

Looking as energetic as ever at 74, Mason spent almost half of his show railing against President Obama. With jokes ranging from the President’s inexperience, his wavering on issues and his public speaking ability, Mason made sure to end almost every quip with “I’m not picking on him.”

Mason yucked it up about how Obama took 19 different positions on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the Islamic Cultural Center and the healthcare bill. And, after calling George W. Bush a “turkey” of a president, Mason said the American people were starving for stronger leadership that the moment they heard Obama talk—it was “close enough.”

The crowd gave its biggest laugh of the night when Mason poked fun at the President’s mantra of change. “No, we do have change—nobody has any money—we just have change.”

But Mason did not limit his act to just his political frustrations. There was still plenty of politically incorrect humor where Mason pulled no punches. He talked about cab drivers’ ethnic foods, how opera houses are actually “a bedroom for rich Jews,” in addition to Mexicans, Asians, Italians and any other race or ethnicity you can think of. Somehow, some way, Mason is able to get away with saying things that a lot of comics probably can’t say anymore. Such is the luxury of being an old-school Jewish comedian in 2010.

And, Mason even went off-routine with some old bits. The crowd was delighted to hear his impressions of Ed Sullivan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Henry Kissignger, Bing Crosby, Alfred Hitchcock and even William F. Buckley. But, he also made sure to stay current with bits about the latest trends in food, such as Cajun cooking and sushi, calling it the invention of two Jews with no kitchen.

It was truly delightful to see a man of his age, and his career, be able to continually keep the jokes coming for almost two hours. While there was a brief intermission, Mason was energetic the entire show and proved age is but a number. Mason is current, Mason is risqué, and most of all, Mason is funny.

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