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19.06.2015 admin
Comedian Carol Leifer started performing stand up in the late 1970's alongside Paul Reiser, Larry David, and Jerry Seinfeld. She later went on to write and produce Seinfeld, The Ellen Show and The Larry Sanders Show. And he was the reason I wanted to be funny and become a comedian and a comedy writer, so to say that he's somewhat of a mythic figure in my life would be an understatement.
The book, now out in paperback, details Leifer's coming out story, her early days in stand up, and her relationship with her father. Because, as he was not shy of saying as he unwrapped the cellophane to grab the first piece, "Creams? She recounts one of the high points of his life, when he filled in as the entertainment at a convention full of psychologists.
They're a waste of time." But this year is the first year I have no place to send anything.
So on this birthday, which would have been his eighty-seventh, in lieu of a gold box of chocolates, hopefully this story will come in a close second. So my father would tell jokes mostly at family gatherings or with people around the neighborhood, and I was fascinated by the power of him telling these stories. Granted, they're mostly about princesses and fairy godmothers, moonbeams and farm animals, but that's pretty much your iPod at that age. And here was this guy, my relative yet, telling very short stories to people who were standing up a€” not in bed in their pajamas. Then at the end of this very short story, he would say this one line, a little more forcefully and pointedly than the rest of the story, and everybody would roar.


And I learned to distinguish them from clean jokes, because as he approached the punch line a€” the mystery line to me a€” the circle around him became that much tighter and smaller.
But once the movie begins, the chicken starts to get hot, so the guy unzips his pants so the chicken can stick his head out and get a little air. She nudges her friend and whispers, 'This guy next to me just unzipped his pants!' The friend whispers back, 'Ah, don't worry about it.
But this one's eating my popcorn!' " Now, as a little girl, the bulk of this joke made sense. My older brother alluded to it being a penis joke, but all I heard mentioned was a chicken and a zipper. So there was always this mystery to comedy when I was a kid that made it so appealing to me. Like when we would go to Fortunoff, a popular home store on Long Island, he would park the car really far away in the lot. My father was adamant, "No, no!" "Dad, look, if you come out, I'll buy you a first-class ticket." My incredulous father said, "Carol.
We're not drinkers!" Or when AIDS was first happening in the early eighties and I was at my folks' house watching a news piece on it, and my father said, "I don't understand how it gets into the bloodstream." And I said a€” quite uncomfortably, I might add a€” "Dad.
They simply rest it gently in between the buttocks." His conception of gay sex was basically a hot dog in a bun. When my marriage many years ago was falling apart, my mother was in complete denial about it.
I would call my folks for our weekly Sunday chat, and my mother would invariably interject into the conversation, "And how are the Shydners?" which would make my father lose it.


Stop asking about the Shydners!" So for many years after that, whenever someone made any kind of inane comment, my father would always say, "Yeah, and how are the Shydners?" My shrink says it's important not to deify someone when they die, but he's a killjoy who has to open his big fat trap about everything. But lest I get too sentimental, my father could also, at times, be a really insensitive know-it-all. This was my "hometown" theater, and I can't tell you how thrilling it is playing the place where, growing up, I'd seen the Carpenters, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and six different versions of the Beach Boys, among others. My father read the review and said, as any good Jew would, "The reviewer is clearly anti-Semitic!") My father was an optometrist for sixty years, and he enjoyed his professional life.
But he was really happy for me that I did, and I never felt one pang of resentment or jealousy from him (the lumber joke notwithstanding). The first time I did the Letterman show, he said he "cried like a baby" when he saw my name listed in the TV section of The New York Times. But whenever I feel bad that he never got to make it professionally, I think about what everyone says to me when they find out that he died. They always say, "He was so funny." And I think if my father could know that being funny is the first thing people say about him, that would be enough and make him really happy. I was very attached to my father and had this naA?ve little-girl notion that he'd always be around. Well, I guess that technically would be God, but come on, he's got more important stuff on his "to do" list than coming down to customer service for this.



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