Roy Schaeffer has some advice for newlyweds: Never lease a ring. And if you’re intent on hiring an au pair, you might want to wait until you have kids.
His parents like to tell a knock-knock joke that ends: “It can’t be Roy because he never visits.”
In true Jewish comedy style, 10 people who haven’t given up their day jobs kvetched about relationships, overbearing parents, work and money troubles and a general lack of respect Monday night at The Jewish Week’s 11th annual standup standoff.
But the finalists from two previous rounds of the Funniest Jewish Comic Contest got plenty of love from the audience and, in the case of first-place winner Schaeffer, the judges.
Second place went to Rena Blech and third to Edward Mulayev.
Blech, the only female finalist, complained about all the signs around town lately for “Sex and the City,” when all she had was her ex and the city. Evidently, her ex was a control freak: “He wanted to control who I hung out with, who I ate with, and even who I slept with. I mean, did you ever?”
Mulayev is a Russian immigrant and, as proof, displayed his welfare card and announced that his new Lexus was waiting outside. The comic’s wife, he said, is doing her part to stimulate the economy. “My mail from the credit card company, instead of saying ‘Dear Sir’ says, “You the maaan!”
Among notable moments from the runners-up, Alan Skorski suggested the concept of amateur night at comedy clubs be extended to places like hospitals. “There are already amateur doctors,” Skorski realized. “They’re called dentists.”
An actual dentist, Freddy Seltzer, recalled the patient who said she would rather give birth than have another session with him. His response: “Let me know which one so I’ll know which way to tilt the chair.” Les Degen noted that he was recently fitted with a hearing aid, and wears it in his left ear to show that he’s straight.
The comics faced competition not only from each other but from a persistently ringing cellphone that no one in the crowd could locate. About 175 people packed the event at Broadway Comedy Club, organized by comic and actor Geoff Kole, who also judged along with TV legend Joe Franklin. In his own set, Kole announced that he was boycotting goods imported from China, because “who needs … everything?”
Looking out at the overwhelmingly Semitic audience, emcee David Goldstein said the only diversity that night was “Jews of different heights” and one Sephardi.
Borscht Belt legend Freddy Roman literally phoned in his act, winning remote laughs with a classic joke about a senile honeymooner.
Schaeffer, 48, of Rye Brook, N.Y., is an accountant for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency. He has been honing his act at open mikes for about four years.
He was awarded a $200 gift card, which, he said, “will just about cover all the people I treated to dinner to get them here tonight.”