Old Jewish Jokes

Ivor Dembina is very funny and manages to entertain the audience for an hour by conforming to as many stereotypes of a Jew as he can. Jewish comedy is not a new concept and despite Demina playing to stereotypes, he does so very well.

Full of jokes which Jews and Gentiles can enjoy alike

Dembina starts by telling lots of quick-form, traditional jokes. He is witty and his comic timing is perfect, with facial expressions adding to the comedy. This is something which many comics have moved on from, trying to do more anecdotal humour, yet this traditional manner suits Dembina well and provokes great responses from the audience.The comic repeatedly jokes that despite his three decades in comedy, this is only his second performance. It is clearly not true as Ivor has a fantastic repartee with the audience and knows how to deliver a joke.The majority of the show is based on a conversation with his Rabbi, who wants him to perform at his synagogue as part of a fundraiser for a repair to the building. The Rabbi discusses with Dembina what jokes he can and can’t make. The comedian goes on to base the remainder of the show on different areas which the Rabbi has asked him not to speak about. This is a very clever way of structuring the performance. While the jokes continue to be based on unoriginal cliches, they continue to work. Sometimes the old jokes are the best.


Audience interaction, at times, was coarse. His brilliant stage presence was let down in part by an introverted audience but moreso by an awkward atmosphere which was brought about when he began asking people about their religious beliefs. The lack of control Dembina had over this segment was evident. All in all, though, this is a fun hour full of jokes which Jews and Gentiles can enjoy alike.

Reviews by Joshua Hepple

C venues – C south

Aaron Twitchen: Curtain Twitchen

★★★
Summerhall

How to Act

★★★★★
Underbelly, George Square

Ruby Wax: Frazzled

★★★
Assembly Hall

China Goes Pop!

★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Extra performance on the 21st at Laughing Horse @ Counting House with full run from 3rd to 27th (excluding Tuesdays) at Laughing Horse @ Finnegan's Wake. Fifth year of the Fringe's all-time favourite, longest-running Jewish comedy show. Traditional Jewish gags plus a revealing insight into the life of the modern Jewish comic. **** (Scotsman). **** (Mirror). ***** (BroadwayBaby.com). **** (ThreeWeeks). Admission free, gentiles half price.