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BWW Interviews: Comedian Jackie Mason Bids Farewell to Broadway

Legendary comedian Jackie Mason is arguably one of the greatest stand-up comics of all time. His 1988 smash hit, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO ME! holds the record for the longest Broadway run for any one-man show. Playing to sold out houses night after night, his performance earned him a Tony Award for Outstanding Theatrical Achievement. Two more successful shows soon followed along with two Outer Critics Circle Awards, an Ace Award, an Emmy Award, and even a Grammy nomination. And it appears that the comedian has no intention of slowing down any time soon. He has embarked on a brand new tour, which includes a stop at Bergen Performing Arts Center on May 15th.

Mason's successful comedic formula involves gleaning his material from current world events and he believes, for the most part, that no material is off limits. Yet even Mason concedes there are some exceptions to this rule. Commenting on the recent controversy involving Gilbert Godfrey's questionable jokes after the tragic earthquake in Japan, Mason explains, "I think it all depends on the circumstances. I personally don't tell jokes about death because I feel it is inappropriate".

With all the success of his Broadway endeavors, he insists that he no longer hears the call of the Broadway stage. "I really do not want to do Broadway anymore," says the comedian. " In 2008 when I said that was my farewell show, I really meant it! I am not like other phony performers who do 37 "Farewell" tours."

On his list of favorite modern day comedians, Mason puts Chris Rock, currently starring in THE MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT" right at the top. "I think it's great that he is taking on a Broadway role," admires Mason. "Just because a person is a comedian or a singer, I don't think they should be pigeon-holed into just one thing." Mason himself has recently turned his attention to the art of making movies. His film, "One Angry Man," is a full-length courtroom 'dram-edy' take-off on the Henry Fonda classic "Twelve Angry Men," starring Mason as himself. "I hate making films, but I love seeing the finished product," he confesses.

However when all is said and done, stand up comedy continues to be the legendary performer's true passion. He is excited to bring his revered brand of humor to audiences across the country and continues to follow one very simple principle of what makes something funny. "If it's in the news," the comedian contends, "then it's in my show!"

Jackie Mason will be performing at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood NJ on Sunday May 15 at 3 pm For further information, please visit:

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From This Author Caryn Robbins