Kreisler headlines Jewish Congregation comedy night
If You Go …
What: Comedy Against Evil, presented by Aspen Jewish Congregation
Where: Aspen Chapel
When: Sunday, March 15, 5 p.m.
Cost: $85 to $275
Stand-up comic Jeff Kreisler is a regular on TV, a best-selling author and a regular at comedy festivals around the world. But when he plays Aspen on Sunday for the Aspen Jewish Congregation’s second annual comedy fundraiser, he may have a hard act to follow in Rabbi David Segal, who will open for him.
“He will either set the bar very high or very low,” Kreisler said from New York.
Segal has performed stand-up occasionally, and last year spearheaded the comedy night fundraiser.
In Kreisler, the congregation has landed a headliner with a smart brand of stand up that blends incisive commentary on politics and culture with a keen eye for the absurd and dependably brilliant riffs on cheating (Kreisler’s debut book was 2009’s “Get Rich Cheating: The Crooked Path to Easy Street”).
As the 2016 presidential election starts to heat up, Kreisler sounded nonplussed about the comedy potential for a showdown between frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush.
“I guess I can just pull out my old Clinton and Bush material and put that to use,” he said. “I do think it’s going to the interesting. The last few cycles, the Republican nominating process has been really interesting. It does have an air of inevitability that it’s going to be Clinton and Bush.”
Kreisler grew up visiting Aspen on family vacations and recalled meeting Robin Williams in the locker room at the Snowmass Club as a child (“I just remember that he was really hairy”).
A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Virginia Law School, he swerved toward comedy as an adult and has become a familiar face as a news commentator on MSNBC, CNN and elsewhere. Last year, he performed in Aspen for the first time at the Wheeler Opera House’s Aspen Laff Festival.
For the Aspen Jewish Congregation, Kreisler said, he may try out some material about Israeli politics and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent controversial speech to the U.S. Congress.
“This may be one of the few audiences that follows it,” he said. “Comedy club audiences just don’t follow the news that deeply.”
But, he added, he doesn’t quite have a tailored set for the Jewish crowd.
“I don’t have a ton of material about Judaism,” he said. “And my wife is Catholic. So our kids are ‘Ca-shews.’”
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