“The Many Mrs. Maisels: 20th-Century U.S. Jewish Female Stand-Up Comedians”

Before there was The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, there was a long history of Jewish female comedians, standing up and speaking out. Although stand-up comedy is often described as a “boy’s club,” the truth is that there have always been influential women on the scene. Alongside Jewish male comics like Groucho Marx, Lenny Bruce, Jack Benny and Jerry Seinfeld, there were pioneering Jewish female stand-ups like Jean Carroll, Joan Rivers, Totie Fields and Sarah Silverman, offering their inimitable insights on the experience of being a Jew—and a woman—in the United States.

From tackling double standards to deflating stereotypes like the “Jewish American Princess,” Jewish female stand-up comedians have made major contributions to the way that American audiences have seen Jewish women—and the way that Jewish women have seen themselves.

Members of the Case Western Reserve University community are invited to join the Siegal Lifelong Learning Program for an upcoming breakfast and lecture titled “The Many Mrs. Maisels: 20th-Century U.S. Jewish Female Stand-Up Comedians.”

Grace Kessler Overbeke, assistant professor of theatre, comedy writing and performance at Columbia College, Chicago, will give this talk Thursday, Jan. 11, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Landmark Centre Building, Suite 100 (25700 Science Park Dr.).

A light breakfast will be served from 10 to 10:30 a.m., followed by the lecture.

Registration is required; no walk-ins will be permitted.

This event costs $18 per person, with a $5 discount for members of the Siegal Lifelong Learning Program. Reserve your spot.