When Comedy Went To School | 2013
In a 1970's survey, it was found that although Jews represented approximately 3% of the total U.S. population, they accounted for 80% of professional comedians. How did it come to pass that a nation that started the 20th century laughing at the folk humor of Will Rogers, ended being captivated by the urbane parodies of "Seinfeld"? Is there a common denominator within the generation of Jewish-Americans that produced literally dozens of comedy legends? How could that happen? And why did that happen? What is their legacy? As Butch Cassidy in awe asks The Sundance Kid regarding the posse tracking him: "Who are those guys?" The answer to these questions is found in this portrait of this country's greatest generation of comics. The answer is also found in update New York's Catskill Mountains, aka the Borscht Belt, where Jewish immigrants transformed lush farmlands into the 20th century's largest resort complex. Those Catskill hotels and bungalow colonies provided the setting for a remarkable group of young Jewish-American comedians to hone their craft and become worldwide legends.