Congregation B’nai Avraham’s Rabbi Simcha Weinstein discusses Jewish comedy in his new book Schtick Shift. Today on the spiritual website Busted Halo he explores whether or not Sascha Baron Cohen’s latest flick Bruno (which was #1 in this weekend’s box office), with a litany of Holocaust humor, is good for the Jews:
Busted Halo: Besides being a “take no prisoners” iconoclast and equal opportunity offender, Sasha Baron Cohen is Jewish. So, not surprisingly, there are cringe making “Jewish” gags throughout the new film. It’s a carry over from Baron Cohen’s old TV program, where the character Bruno originated, and among other things, liked to rate red carpet looks as either “in the ghetto” (thumbs up) or “train to Auschwitz” (thumbs down).
At one point in the new movie, the staggeringly tactless Bruno decides to become a Middle East peacemaker of all things. But he confuses the words “hummus” with “Hamas” in a high stakes dialogue between a real life ex-Mossad chief and an equally authentic Arab leader. Like everyone Bruno encounters, the two men were baffled by his bizarre behavior.