American stand-up Jackie Mason must be the world's wittiest former rabbi. Specialising in wickedly funny Jewish jokes
which he rattles out in
inimitable "Noo Yoik"
tones, he takes up a rare residency in the West End this month.
Mason's new show, Much Ado About Everything, which is getting a pre-Broadway airing, promises to cover everything from Monica Lewinsky to Viagra, the Internet and Titanic. But even as a political commentator, he can't resist his favourite topic: the difference between Jews and Gentiles. He is amazed by Hillary Clinton's tolerance of her husband's infidelity. "Only a Gentile would put up with this. She says, `It wasn't really a girl, it was a horse.' If she was Jewish, by now he'd be in a homeless shelter in the Bronx."
Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue, London WC1 (0171-839 4409)
THE BEST OF THE REST
Eddy Strange - has a surreal comedian ever been better named? - is notable as perhaps the only stand-up to have attended the prestigious US military academy, West Point. He also possesses an alarming resemblance to Nigel from EastEnders. But beyond that, he is a talented yarn-spinner with sex as a special subject.
The Bearcat, Twickenham (0181-891 1852) Mon Top Dog Comedy, Brixton (0171-737 3177) Wed
For those making the journey to the impressive Newcastle Comedy Festival this week, George Melly's Life and Times promises something slightly different from the usual round of "have you ever noticed?" observational comedians. In this comic lecture, the veteran musician, artist and performer will discuss art, singing, drink and his sexuality. Not your usual comedy-circuit fare.
Live Theatre, Newcastle (0191-232 1232) MonReuse content