Jackie Mason

	An abridged version of a recent Jackie Mason interview....

 JCN: What do you think of the Internet?
 JACKIE MASON: Obviously this is a big hit. Everybody is talking about 
 it. I don't know the first thing about it. I'm like every other old Jew 
 who hears about it but doesn't know what it represents. Everybody under 
 forty-seven is talking about it. Anybody over fifty doesn't know what 
 you are talking about.
 JCN: Why do you think that is?
 JACKIE MASON: It's like a whole new toy. They're too backward to get 
 involved in. Now when a new chatchkc like this comes out, youngsters 
 start becoming familiar with a whole new thing.
 JCN: What is your most dramatic holiday memory?
 JACKIE MASON: My father and family was so religious that I felt like a 
 person who lost his rights and was living in a dictatorship. They move 
 you and turn you in any direction they please. And you have to go there 
 whether you like it or not. I felt more like a prisoner than a 
 worshipper when I was in shul. My father wouldn't allow me to stop 
 davening all day long. A lot of people were taking recesses, walks and 
 sunshine. I had to sit there and keep reading. I felt more confined and 
 imprisoned than any Jew since we got out of Egypt!
 JCN: If you could, how would you change the Ten Commandments?
 JACKIE MASON: I would leave out anything to do with adultery.
 JCN: What do you think about New York Jews?
 JACKIE MASON: I think about them in many, varied ways, just like I think 
 about whites or blacks, Gentiles or Polish people. There is no one type 
 of New York City Jew. Certain generalities might be true. Like their 
 preoccupation with restaurants and food. Italians might have some of it. 
 But no one has this lust about restaurants -- a kind of a Jewish sex 
 drive. Show a Jew a cookie, it's like showing a Gentile a naked woman. 
 They don't just eat a cookie. They devour it. They discuss it. They 
 research it. They become detectives about it. 
 They have to discuss where is a better chopped liver. Jews could be 
 preoccupied with this for hours. Somebody else could declare war with 
 less trepidation and uncertainty than a Jew picking a restaurant. Which 
 is the best one, and how to find it, and how much they charge, and what 
 is the main dish compared to the other ones. This one is good, but I 
 don't like their appetizer. This one has a good chopped liver, but I 
 don't like their soup. You watch Jews selecting a restaurant, it's like 
 a family that's choosing a bride.
 JCN: We hear your recorded voice in taxis reminding us to buckle up. 
 What is your take on taxis?
 JACKIE MASON: Taxis in New York have a bad reputation for reasons that 
 don't make sense. People talk about taxi drivers being inconsiderate, 
 pushy, arrogant. I find that most of this is not true. The only problem 
 I have with taxi drivers is that they usually don't know where they are 
 going. They come from India or Pakistan. They are very nice people but 
 they take a job they know nothing about. It's like just because I'm a 
 nice guy I became a doctor. Shouldn't I find out something about 
 medicine first? You go into any taxi and say, "I'd like to go to 
 thirty-fourth street and Eighth Avenue." And they mumble for thirty 
 minutes, "Kokitee, kokitee." I say, "Do you know the city." They all 
 say, "Sure." I found out -- the city they know is Calcutta. 
 JCN: You talk about construction and contractors in your new book.
 JACKIE MASON: I joke in my act about how Jews can't do anything with 
 tools. A Gentile's house is like a workshop. You can hear it thirty 
 miles away. You'll hear buzzsaws binging and hacking. Everything is busy 
 in a Gentile's house. They don't sit still for a second. A Gentile is 
 not happy unless he is banging something with a hammer or clipping 
 something off with a chotchke or a saw. There are four thousand versions 
 of a screwdriver in a Gentile's house.
 Ask a Jew if he has a screwdriver. "I have a screwdriver? I thought you 
 had the screwdriver." Anti-semitism is nothing compared to two Jews 
 looking for a screwdriver.
 JCN: Thank you and shanah tovah.
 JACKIE MASON: God bless you.

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