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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 1, 2007 / 15 Sivan 5767

Bang! Zoom! To The Moon!

By Greg Crosby


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Consider this interesting bit of societal shift. Back in the Dark Ages when I was a kid in the fifties, three of the most popular comedians on television were Jackie Gleason, Sid Caesar, and Danny Thomas. Although their television characters were very different from each other, they all had one common quality that they shared and that audiences found hilarious — they had explosive tempers.


Gleason's eyes would get so big when he lost his temper that they seemed as though they'd pop out of his head. Danny Thomas would scream at the top of his voice, spitting his coffee out as he yelled and chased his wife and kids around the apartment. Caesar would hold the volcano in for as long as he could, and then blast out with a red-hot strength of a hundred men. And they were funny. Really, gut-splitting funny. Viewers couldn't wait to watch these guys blow their stacks every week.


Now take this test. Name a highly rated comedy show today starring a man who blows his stack on a regular basis. Your time is up. You can't name one because comic characters like that don't exist on TV now. They have become not only out of fashion, they are most assuredly politically incorrect.


Today's TV comedian is more likely to have the disposition of a Jerry Seinfeld or a Ray Romano: even-tempered and low key. No Ralph Kramden fits of jealous rage over some guy showing Alice too much attention or Danny Thomas blowing his stack at the kids or Sid Caesar exploding after finding out Imogene Cocoa dented the fender of their brand new car. The men on today's sit coms don't show that level of fire in the belly anymore. They shrug. They whine. They get frustrated. Sometimes they even cry. Or like Frasier and his brother, they just drown their sorrows over a cup of double mocha latte at the corner coffee shop.


In this era of touchy—feely metrosexual males it is positively verboten to portray a man blowing his top — unless he is a sex-crazed killer in one of those graphic forensic shows. Or some sociopath on Dr. Phil. Losing it just isn't acceptable for T.V. comics anymore. Funny men on the tube these days all seem to have been reared on Ritalin and have gone through sensitivity training.


The reason, I think, that we're not supposed to laugh at a man throwing a temper tantrum anymore is because it has become socially wrong for a man to show anger (most especially a white man). Boys grow up learning that they need to control their naturally aggressive natures. They have to keep their tempers in check, they're told. So they are taught that there are certain "feelings" that they must get in touch with and other feelings that they must suppress. Like crying is a good thing, but getting mad is not. In short, men are learning how to be women.


But ironically, screaming and yelling and turning blue in the face seems to be okey-doky for women on T.V. Think Rosie O'Donnell, Joan Rivers, and Judge Judy. Judge Judy all by herself does more screaming in one show than Gleason did in the entire 39 week run of the Honeymooners. Why is it fine for the women to be hysterical? Is it because they have a right to show anger since they've been so oppressed for three thousand years? Or is it just a natural hormonal thing? (No letters, ladies, please. That's a joke!)


I don't find a screaming woman to be particularly funny. I remember there was one episode of the Honeymooners where, for once, Alice was the one who blew her stack instead of Ralph. It didn't pay off for me. It just wasn't funny to see this sweet little woman ranting. Alice was normally the level-headed, sensible one. Ralph was the lunatic. And when Ralph went off, it felt right. And boy, it was funny!


This is not to say that I don't enjoy many of the other classic comedians who had somewhat cooler demeanors. Jack Benny was and is my all time favorite. Buster Keaton, from the silent days, is another favorite of mine and he epitomized Mr. Cool — as a matter of fact he was known as "the great stone face." Stan Laurel's character never (or very seldom) lost his temper. Bob Hope, George Burns, Dick Van Dyke, Jerry Seinfeld, and Ray Romano are all very funny guys — none of which derived humor out of losing their tempers.


Still, nothing could put me on the floor faster than Sid Caesar coming to a boil, getting ready to blow. Or a real good Danny Thomas yell. Or just one "Bang! Zoom!" out of Jackie Gleason. Those guys could really lose their tempers, and let me tell ya it was a riot, Alice. A regular riot!

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2006, Greg Crosby

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