July 2nd, 2008


Jackie Mason

I fondly remember the Worldwide Cinemas, located in the basement of the then-new (built 1989) Worldwide Plaza. It was a second-run theater, so if you were willing to wait a few weeks, you could see movies for $2-3. This complex also hosted many screenings I attended in the '90s. When I got busy working at the game show, I got out of the habit of seeing movies, and the theater closed when I was unaware.

I also fondly remember seeing Jackie Mason four times live in the '90s, including his Politically Incorrect show twice (a year apart). Jackie Mason is part of family legend. Vacationing in the Catskills in the '50s, my parents went to an after-hours show with a comedian who was also a rabbi and said they laughed so hard they literally couldn't breathe -- yes, they saw then-unknown Jackie Mason.

Now in his 70s, Mason says his current show, The Ultimate Jew, is his last. It's closing this month, so I thought I'd better go. Tonight was the night. I went to the designated address, and it turns out that New World Stages is actually the old Worldwide, resurrected as a theater complex.

Jackie did seem older (I last saw him in 1996), but soon hit his stride. Despite some F-word usage, it was mostly clean, covering politics, Starbucks, restaurants, immigration, gentiles/Jews (LOTS on this). Some material could be considered offensive, and it might help to be Jewish - lots of yarmulkes in the crowd.

When I got home, my Barnes & Noble order was there - less than 24 hours after placing the order. Wow, that's fast. Now I really really need to cool it on the book buying.

Smart viewing

Today at MoMA:

5:00 p.m.
Dottie Gets Spanked. 1994. USA. Todd Haynes. 30 min. Poison. 1991. USA. Todd Haynes. 85 min.

8:00 p.m.
A Time for Drunken Horses. 2000. Iran. Bahman Ghobadi. 80 min. Discussion with Ghobadi.
8:30 p.m.
Going Places. 1974. France. Bertrand Blier. 117 min.

Instead of this high-falutin' fare, I saw "Get Smart" with the last of the AMC coupons (more are on the way).

As a kid, I loved "Get Smart." I haven't watched the TV show recently, so don't know if it aged well. The movie trailer did capture some of that atmosphere. But the movie? I guess I wanted something laugh-a-minute like "Airplane" and this wasn't. It was pretty good, silly at times, used all the tag lines - but just didn't seem completely goofy like the show. I liked the techie guys and see they have a DVD spin-off which I'll have to check out.