Gefilte Fish Out of Water


Wild & Crazy Comedy

 

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Leah and I rode a sherut to Jerusalem to see a sketch comedy & improv show by a new English-speaking group called Hahafuch. (Join their Facebook group!) 

 

Cafe Afuch is a type of hot coffee drink in Israel.  It means “upside down coffee,” but it’s basically just a cappuccino.  So, Hahafuch is a play on words on that – like “haha funny” – get it? 

Anyway, the show wasn’t held in a bar or club like we expected.  It was held in the theater of an old “absorbsion center” for American Olim (place for new immigrants in Israel).  Sad story.  The place used to be thriving, but the owners lost everything thanks to Bernie Madoff.  For realz.  #sad  Anyway, after the sherut, Leah and I hopped in a taxi, and we were kind of like WTF when it dropped us off on a quiet, residential street.  We were on the right path, b/c we saw a Hahafuch sign, but we were like, climbing over fences and walking past abandonded buildings and whatnot.  I was ready to start making Friday the 13th/Jason noises (ch-ch-ch-ch…kill-kill-kill-kill), but finally we came upon the theater, and all was normal again.  We paid for tickets and entered an already packed theater, as the show had already started.  My friend Debra had saved us seats. 

The first act was improv.  Some very funny stuff, with contributions from the audience and without a net for the performers. 

Then, how much did I love the fact that two very talented women came out and did an acoustic set of Madonna’s 1999 top 20 hit (and one of my favorites), Beautiful Stranger!  Honestly, this made the whole trip worthwhile on its own. 

After intermission, the performances switched to sketch comedy.  We liked this even better!  Some *very* funny stuff!  Like this sketch, “Benyamin Netanyahu’s Speech as Translated by a Struggling First-Year Ulpan Student.”  Benji Lovitt played Netanyahu.  Benji is part of this social media savvy Israeli crowd of mostly Olim I’m getting to know on Twitter.  Benji was the straight guy in this sketch, doing a really authentic and kinda angry/passionate Netanyahu.  The student would translate a few sentences right, and then botch something to comedic effect.  (Like you can imagine Netanyahu was talking about keeping Jerusalem our undividied capital, and the student would say something obviously wrong, like, “So we can have more onions!”  Then, Bibi would give him an awesome stink-eye, and yell the word in Hebrew again, and the poor student would repeat it incorrectly again, making it worse (“Onions!”) 

#guessyouhadtobethere

 

Another sketch I really enjoyed was one called “Aliyahonics Anonymous.”  It was a bunch of Olim like me bitching about the often incredulous and rude behavior from native Israelis directed at immigrants. 

Here’s a shot from a “Weekend Update” style segment, complete w/ video still shots on a screen for added effect. 

 

Here’s two funny videos the group prepared in advance to add to the show as multi-media elements.  This first one’s a travel commercial spoof about taking a trip to the “real” Israel, where Israelis try and make tourists look like “friars” (suckers). 

This one’s sort of a “man on the street” style news package segment, making fun of Israeli’s without their consent, in the style of old school Letterman, or Billy Eichner’s Creation Nation

[Damn, sidebar!  Billy Eichner is just so damn funny !!] 

Anyway, so is Hahafuch, and I will be going back to their next show – and trying to get my friend Anna Becker Barkin to audition for them!

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5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

This show was everything that you describe, and more. I will definitely be going again, and I’m so glad you wrote about it so others will know about this hidden comedy gem!

Comment by Debra Askanase

Thanks for the awesome write-up! We will be holding auditions soon so definitely get your friend to come!

See you at the next show!
Molly

Comment by Molly

Hi, Molly – I didn’t get the chance to say HI in person after the show, but as you can see, I *really* enjoyed it. BTW, my friend is female, from LA, and has done standup and sketch comedy before. She’s going to come with me to the next show to get a feel first before considering auditioning. (I’m pushing hard, b/c I know she’d be great. Also, HaHaFuch only has two female players.) -Scott

Comment by skatp

Was definitely a fun show. Nice coverage.

Is the Billy Eichner stuff real? Half of it looks like set-up with actors!

Comment by Fun Joel

Eichner stuff totally real. I think he’s hilarious. he would do a live talk show and trot these vids out during it. i did PR for the theatre series he has a part of

Comment by skatp




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