'I'm no Nazi'

Mason lashes out at critic

Jackie Mason has lashed out at a critic who savaged his current Broadway show.

The acerbic comedian said New York Times reviewer Bruce Weber was "a sick bastard" for slating his show Prune Danish.

Mason added: "He doesn't like me because he thinks I'm a conservative. He thinks I'm a member of the Ku Klux Klan. He thinks I'm a Nazi. Me, a little Jew from the Roosevelt era."

Weber's review said only about 30 minutes of the two-and-a-half hour performance was any good.

And he said parts were mean-spirited and "idiotically, hypocritically reactionary", accusing Mason of being intolerant and perpetuating "disparaging" stereotypes.

One gag which the review singled out was the "nasty and diminishing" line: "I hope you never get an Indian doctor. Cab driver? Perfect."

Most significantly, Weber said much of Mason's material just "isn't funny", although he did concede that his style was "priceless and unique".

But the comedian broke the usual protocol of performers to roll with the critic's punches.

In the rival New York Post today, Mason hit back: "Every joke depends on a stereotype. You have to exaggerate something in order to make fun of it.

"But if you make a literal translation of the joke - which Weber does in his review - you turn it into hate.

"Can you imagine this guy? This sick bastard thinks I hate Indians. Who hates Indians? You take the worst Ku Klux Klansman, and no matter who he has on his list, I guarantee you, it's not an Indian.".

Chortle's review of Mason's 2001 UK show

Published: 30 Oct 2002

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