'Jackie Mason: the Ultimate Jew'
(Jackie Mason / 2-Disc DVD / NR / (2008) 2009 / Vivendi Entertainment)
Overview: No election year would be complete without the irascible, irreplaceable and incomparable Jackie Mason and his 8th and final one-man comedy tour de force, Jackie Mason- The Ultimate Jew.
DVD Verdict: No matter how much Mason denies the fact that his jokes told tonight were old, tired, has-beens from an era gone by, he does exude a very youthful energy. At 76, he still commands the stage, prowling it up and down relentlessly, nailing his punch lines - and knowingly improvising with the front row, as he swaps barbs with them (or, in most cases, swaps barbs with himself as they remain very, very silent in the face of the great man!)
And sure it's hard to be amused when Mason turns to minority groups. Inevitably, his barbs are about the foolishness of those who are not like himself and his aging, Jewish fanbase. Speaking of Gentiles, he matches them up, wealth and worth against his own Jewish backgrounds. He professes his love for 'faygelehs' - because he trusts them to decorate his apartment! - complete with a limp-wristed imitation! Mason also brings the supposed hypocrisy of black people to the table. One of the most cutting barbs was that whites are afraid to visit black neighborhoods and so they are actually the ones being held down; oppressed!
So sure, Mason is cutting on those fronts, but he never does it knowingly to hurt anybody or any race. He's a comedian, for pity's sake, and so must always push the barriers known to him. I think though, watching it, that as he gets older he knows what is good to say, what is bad to say and blurs the lines on purpose - one invisible, and yet always polite middle finger up to any angst-ridden watchers.
Funnily enough, jokes that lag behind the day include old jabs at Viagra and the Atkins diet. Even Mason's more topical humor just tends to aim directly at people such as Hillary and Obama; both aspects serving as springboards for generic riffs on race and gender - as pointed out above. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the following Special Features:
Backstage With Jackie Mason
Bonus Audio CD of the Show