"It’s like an El AL flight in here!" proclaims the MC of Jew-O-Rama, Philip Simon. Jew-O-Rama is partly his creation and it aims to bring the best Jewish and Jew-ish comedians at the Edinburgh Fringe together for a daily comedy compilation show over lunchtime.
The day I went, five brilliant Jewish acts took to the tiny stage. Opening was Noam Osband and Rena Hundert, with a song from their hit show, Wikipedilove. They sing the toe- tapping Ballad of Eva Braun, with information taken from her Wikipedia article. Their jolly country songs are laced with clever irony and this quirky tune is a great start to the hour.
Al Lubel was next, with some witty but unoriginal Jew jokes. He is ‘unconventionally good-looking’, which is not as good as being conventionally good-looking, but better than being unconventionally bad looking. Al Lubel is somewhat of an enigma on stage, which explains his unique cult following around the world and it was great to see this odd comedian at work.
The third act was a poet from Edgware, who goes by the name, Wise Bound, the Urban Poet. His mundane poems vary from a gluten addiction rhyme to another about buffing up his shoulders at the gym. None of them struck a chord with the audience, and Wise Bound was out of his depth in a line up with some real comedy gold.
The woefully self-depreciating comic Aaron Levene was next. He was the highlight of the set, letting the audience into his love life. The Uncle Fester lookalike confessed to struggling in the dating world, being more into M&Ms than S&M, and provided the best one-liner of the afternoon; there’s orange Jews and lemon Jews, some people find them a little Hassidic.
Ivor Dembina wrapped things up, performing his favourite not-so-kosher gags, which were predictably sexist and strange. The audience seemed to enjoy his offensive humour and it did provide variety, but after Levene’s clever wordplay, Dembina seemed to struggle.
This set of Jew-O-Rama talent was certainly entertaining, and I would be keen to see what else Simon has lined up. It’s different every day, but always free, and with Phillip Simon as the MC, comedy is guaranteed.
August 3rd-25th at 13:45 Opium Alternative Bar, 71 Cowgate, Edinburgh E