October 21st, 2011 | Magazine

A broadcast from the 92nd Street Y

“Is there a Jewish holiday tonight?” This is what Andy Borowitz, the American humorist, asked a crowd of mostly Jews at the 92nd Street Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association on Wednesday night. We weren’t at the Y, though—we were at the Shubert theatre Mezzanine Lounge, where, along with 14 other locations across America, the release of Andy Borowitz’s new anthology, America’s Funniest Writers, was being broadcast. The theater played the event by way of cutting edge satellite technology, at 12 Jewish Community Centers, one temple in Fort Worth, the Boca Raton polo club, the Maine Jewish Club and our Mezzanine Lunge at the Shubert Theatre.

A recap of what we watched on the screen: Buddy Teich—who endows the 92nd Street Y’s “Funny People” series—introduced Andy Borowitz.

“He’s been called the funniest man in America by ABC and CBS, but to his neighbors he’s the schmuck in 13D,” Teich said.

Andy Borowitz then took the stage, making jokes about the size of his nose and about how the Cleveland Indians should have been renamed to “The Cleveland Jews.” Calvin Trillin, an American humorist, joked about his first name—“If my dad really wanted me to get into the Ivy League, he should have at least put on Anglican airs, not Presbyterian.” Nora Ephron read, Jenny Allen read, joked about Yiddish insults—“May you have an itch you can’t scratch,” and “may you have an injury for which you aren’t compensated by worker’s benefits.”

CORRECTION: Oct. 21, 2011

An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association as a YMCA.