Our Inductees: Jackie Mason

Biography

Jackie Mason (born Yacov Moshe Maza; June 9, 1931)is an American stand-up comedian and film and television actor. He is ranked #63 on Comedy Central’s 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all-time.

His 1986 one-man show The World According to Me won a Special Tony Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, an Ace Award, an Emmy Award, and a Grammy nomination. Later, his 1988 special “Jackie Mason on Broadway” won another Emmy Award (for outstanding writing) and another Ace Award, and his 1991 voice-over of Rabbi Hyman Krustofski in The Simpsons episode “Like Father, Like Clown” won Mason a third Emmy Award. He has written and performed in six one-man shows on Broadway.

Known for his delivery and voice, as well as his use of innuendo and pun, Mason’s often culturally grounded humor has been described as irreverent and sometimes politically incorrect.  A critic for Time wrote that he spoke to audiences: “with the Yiddish locutions of an immigrant who just completed a course in English. By mail.” In 1986, Mason made a triumphant return to Broadway in the two-year run of The World According to Me which ran for 367 performances in its first run and 203 performances in its second run at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, his first of several one-man theatrical shows. It was well received both by critics and the public; Frank Rich, the generally harsh reviewer of The New York Times, wrote: “So sue me … Mason was very, very funny”. It won a Special Tony Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, an Ace Award, an Emmy Award, and a Grammy nomination. His special Jackie Mason on Broadway won an Emmy Award for outstanding writing and an Ace Award.

He acted in the sports comedy movie Caddyshack II (1988). In 1990 and 1991, Mason again was on Broadway, this time with his successful two-act show Brand New, which ran for 216 performances at the Neil Simon Theatre, which won him his second Outer Critics Circle Award. Critic Clive Barnes of The New York Post praised the “brilliant” comic and his “totally new from top to tuchis” humor. Critic Mel Gussow of The New York Times remarked on the “exact meeting” between performance and material in which Mason engaged in a comic attack on everyone, including himself, cutting them all down to size.

In 1992, Mason won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for his voice-over of Rabbi Hyman Krustofski in The Simpsons episode

“Like Father, Like Clown”,[34] making him the first guest star to win an Emmy for his role. Mason has also appeared in The Simpsons episodes “Today I Am a

Clown”, “Once Upon a Time in Springfield”, “The Ten-Per-Cent Solution”, “At Long Last Leave”, and “Clown in the Dumps”; the latter episode focuses upon Rabbi

Krustofski’s death and its effects on his son, Krusty the Clown.

The One And Only

National Comedy Hall of Fame®

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