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Old Jewish Comedians: A BLAB! Storybook Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics (October 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560977418
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560977414
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 10.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Popular film historian Leonard Maltin's page of affectionate tribute is the only text in Friedman's 10-by-10-inch watercolor portrait album, which would seem to disqualify the book for the BLAB! Picto-Novelette series. Where's the story (i.e., novelette)? But kvetch, kvetch. Friedman needs no narrative to justify any book he puts out. He is one of the best cartoonists and caricaturists going, whose renderings, in this case, of star comedians of the mid-twentieth century seethe with the panoply of feelings their personae stir in so many breasts: affection, repulsion, caution, fear, sadness, disdain, and admiration (maybe). If he gives Milton Berle, Rodney Dangerfield, Don Rickles, Jerry Lewis, and the rest outsize heads, he makes sure that every crease, mustache hair, and liver spot looks utterly real. And he catches each man "on": Bud Abbott appears stoically grumpy even in retirement, Myron Cohen still tilts his head in disingenuous submission, Phil Silvers is working yet another con. If only we were all funny enough to get Friedman to draw us! Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

Friedman is one of the best cartoonists/caricaturists going. -- Booklist starred review

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Customer Reviews

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"Old Jewish Comedians" is a gem of a book.
Tyler J. Hammond
Drew Friedman is one of the best humorous illustrators working today.
Tom Richmond
I loved every page, every wrinkle, every liver spot.
Steve Cox

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steve Cox on November 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
All the great legendary old comedians (and some not-so-notables) come alive in this collection of Drew Friedman "in your face" artwork. I loved every page, every wrinkle, every liver spot. Friedman nails these old timers in some of the most bizarre caricature portraits, life-like and boldly detailed...in just that unique Friedman style. Don't worry, this book is not just for Jews....anyone who loves old comedians will savor this collection of artwork. I can't wait for the sequel!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By GAGOON on March 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
God knew what he was doing. First he created the Jews, then he created comedy. Then he created Drew Friedman and his pencils.
What else can you ask for?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Vella on May 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A great find to give the elderly Jewish family members. My dad doesn't read very much anymore, but he appreciated this book. The images are clear and fun. I'm sure seeing these pictures brought back many memories of his youth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mayor on March 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you grew up in the 50's and 60's watching TV, having this short but sweet book on your coffee table to thumb through will bring a smile to you over and over. Being Jewish not required.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By N. Greenfield on December 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderful tribute - brought back so many great memories. Congratulations, Drew; it's your best work yet!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason on January 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my Jewish grandmother as a lighthearted gift. She loved it. I too found it to be a great coffee-table book, despite only being familiar with maybe 1/3 of the comedians. The art is excellent, and I could easily spend 5 or 10 minutes studying each portrait. There's a simple honesty in Friedman's work which makes it both funny and refreshing. As other reviewers have mentioned, there is absolutely no text in this book, so be aware that what you're getting is a book of portraits, nothing more. If you want more info on the comedians shown, you'll have to use the googles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael OConnor TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Having lived in a cave for decades, I had no knowledge of Drew Friedman's work until I came across his wonderful cover art for HOLLYWOOD'S HELLFIRE CLUB. Wanting more of the same, I trolled my local library and came up with OLD JEWISH COMEDIANS and its follow-up. Two 'off-the-top-of-my head' reactions: the guy is tremendously talented and seriously bent!

OLD JEWISH COMEDIANS features 30-odd caricatures of comic greats like Berle, Benny, Youngman, Rickles, Dangerfield, Groucho/Chico/Harpo, Sid Caesar, Jerry Lewis, Danny Kaye, Harry Ritz, Buddy Hackett, Myron Cohen, Joe Smith and Phil Silvers along with lesser-knowns like Benny Bell, Freddie Roman and Mickey Freeman. The comic-greats-in-their-declining-years theme might almost seem cruel if it weren't for the obvious affection Friedman has for his subjects. Friedman's artwork isn't just well done, it often captures the essence of the individual - Jack Benny's placidity, Berle's outsized ego, Danny Kaye's introspection, Al Lewis' joie de vivre, Red Button's impishness, etc.

If you laughed at and enjoyed the gentlemen listed above, you'll want to snatch up a copy of OLD JEWISH COMEDIANS. It's a trip down memory lane, a tribute to funnymen of the 20th Century and a great introduction to the work of a gifted caricaturist! Recommended.
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