(1931 - )
Jackie Mason is a Jewish American stand-up comedian and movie actor.
He was born Yacov Moshe Maza on June 9, 1931,
in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. When Mason was five years old his family moved
York City. He grew up in a family surrounded of rabbis, including
his father and three of his brothers. At age 25, Mason was ordained
as a rabbi. It was not until 1957, after the death of his father, that
Mason began his career as a comedian. Mason first began performing on
the Borscht Belt, and then went on to New York City nightclubs. His
appearances, during 1960, on the Steve Allen’s “Tonight
Show” furthered his career to the top nightclubs.
In 1962, Mason gained notoriety by supposedly giving
Ed Sullivan “the finger” on a live telecast of Sullivan’s
weekly variety show. However, Mason denied that he made the obscene
gesture. Mason later retaliated against Sullivan with a libel suit in
the New York State Supreme Court and won. Nevertheless, this scandal
greatly hurt Mason’s career for several decades.
Mason had to work his way up again, with club appearances
and television guest spots. However, by the early 1980s, Mason opened
his one-man comedy show, The World According to Me in Hollywood
and Beverly Hills. The show became such a huge success, that in December
1986, the show premiered on Broadway. In 1987, Mason received a Tony
Award for his show.
Mason has also been known
as a fervent supporter of Israel.
He co-founded the organization One Jerusalem to defend against the Oslo
peace agreement to divide the city into
the Jewish and Palestinian capitals. Mason
believes Jerusalem should remain the undivided
capital of Israel.
In November 2005, Mason
started a daily talk show,
“The Jackie Mason Show”, which
airs nightly on the CN8 network on Comcast
cable television. As of July 2006, Mason
is also the host of a nationally syndicated
Sources: “Jackie Mason (1934 - ).” American
Jewish Historical Society, American
Jewish Desk Reference, (NY: Random
House, 1999). pg. 468-9., Wikipedia, IMDB