Larry David's Jewish Comedy as an Extension of Yiddish Ashkenazic Culture in Later Hollywood Generations
AbstractOn Sienfeld, Larry David mentions earlier American Jewish comedy writers such as Neil Simon. Some shows are based on models that reach far back into the history of Yiddish film, theatre and comedy. For instance, in one episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, his mother cannot be buried in the Jewish cemetery, because she has a tattoo on her posterior. Thi is one of the earliest themes in Yiddish theatre, because unworthy Jews were refused a propoer burial in the Jewish cemeteries of the Shtels. David, also has a whole episode devoted to, for Ashkenazim, the controversial practice of listening to Wagner. He, and Gary Shandling, among others, represents an extension of Yiddish thematic preoccupations that can be traced to Sholem Asch, Eliakum Zunser, Jacob Gordin, and founders of Yiddisht theatre. The paper traces some of the significant thematic threads that make this generation of prominent Hollywood AMerican Jewish comic writers part of the greater cultural fabric of Yiddishland.