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Ashley Blaker: Goy Friendly
"Talk about some. I'm pretty heavy issues. Israel Iran Patriot of Jews. So our next guest is a pretty big leap for us. Ashley Blaker is Jewish standup comedian. He is the first Orthodox Fox Jewish comedian to be given his own BBC. Show Ashley Blaker. GOYA's guide to Judaism which returned to the air in October. Two Thousand Nineteen. Now he's in New York for his latest off off Broadway. Show Ashley Blaker Goi friendly which premieres at the Soho playhouse. On February third and runs through February twenty third. While his previous off-broadway production strictly unorthodox was tailored for Jewish audiences. This one he says is not just for the Jews. It tells the story of how Ashley's close friendship with Muslim. Comedian Imron on. UCS completely changed his life with antisemitic incidents on the rise around the globe and even here in New York actually hopes to make the audience laugh but also understand stand a little bit more about their Jewish neighbors Ashley. Welcome to our studio. Thank you for having me so I have to ask you right out of the gate. anti-semitism is not funny. So how how do you address that topic with humor. Well the reality is I think he's anything can be funny. So I'll let you come to Louis showing judge whether I make. It isn't about antisemitism. I should say that there is actually a section is a band. Semitism thought. I think the more interesting is the fact that that when antisemitism is on the rise there are two ways of dealing with. This is a way of kind of hunkering down. Just going. We're we're now gonNA stick to ourselves and and try and protect ourselves and put up the security barriers and let's have lots of armed guards on the on the door in social ones bags and all of that stuff all you can kind of outreach. As it were and try and engage with the outside world and that's what my shows about about the latter it's about reaching out to the outside world and in a way this makes wants a comedy show. You know hopefully nonstop funny. Sound sound incredibly dry but Hopefully demystify Judaism a little bit. That's certainly one of the aims. Okay well I would say you could do both right. Do the security see the undercover getting having no security either. All kind of you know very good at that accused but I actually my playbill. I wrote a Performance note and for Bates Him. But I said something about how you know very good dividing ourselves as a as an in one of the things into I enjoy doing you mentioned my show strictly and also those I I love bringing choose together because we figured it kind of separating ourselves in so many different ways you know on the whole joke about the Jewish man who lands on a desert island and he builds two synagogues one ones that he'll go to one that he wouldn't ever be seen dead and that's like what we're like but I do think that there is it is an important time to actually reach out a little bit and we can. I think sometimes certainly not in any way suggesting that we. We are in any way a foot four and symptom of course but I sometimes think that actually being too insular. Isn't that helpful. Listen so now you are from the UK so well the Labor Party. I have to ask you about the Labor Party. I'm afraid But it's often regarded as the political liberal party of choice by many Jews in Great Britain. And I'm curious how you dealt with the last election and whether or not you felt politically homeless as I kept had reading about the Jewish community. There didn't myself but I'm sure other people did and I think that yes certainly in the post for many Jews the Labor faulty will have. I've been there home by just as much as the Conservative Party would be for many Liberal Democrat. We have quite a different political system. Should know to to to the Americans as many but yes I mean. It was incredible. What happened over the last few years and how symtas I'm just rose and seem to not be dealt with toll within the Labor Party in? Yeah it was a terrible thing we still really really been dealt with properly gone away. Yeah I know there were. There were several vile things said many vile things said ed by Labour politicians but then also Jeremy Corbyn himself was talking about the lack of irony that many British Jews seem to have. I don't know if you recall that particular. Yes it was Avia. Yeah it was a video I think from a while ago. Actually but he had yes he had said something. And there's a lot of these kind of allusions I think is because they. They caught clever then. They don't outright. This isn't the foul right then marking the street saying killed the Jews. It's a very allusive. Quite clever thing of of Hinson these particular weight alluding that Jews and Israel inflating the to and to you know the whole talking about antisemitism and anti Zionism also that that things that really came along with the Labor Party and I saw something videos of people saying no no we. We're not intimately to we like the right to choose. I think there's that thing of the good news and the bad news and I think that's a really good. Jews has ones March against Israel and kind of write letters to the Guardian saying that we support Sanctioned bedia smell that kind of thing uh-huh and then the ninety five percent of the badges. I mean that's clearly terrible things so it's been a really dark period and I didn't know it'll be interesting to see in the the next four five years. How things change? Have you tried to address it with humor. There over showed. I just did a toll in opened in in May with my friend Imran you mentioned draymond so imminent. He did a tour together called profit sharing actually breaking news in profit sharing seek clever title. And it's not address head on there are other people addressing this head on and the the truth is the way to look on twitter five minutes especially around the time the election to see that kind of Echo Chamber people. Don't WanNa hear they. You know you you tweet. Something about Labor Jeremy Corbyn and immediately comes back. This prepared list of twenty times. Jeremy Corbyn has both a motion ocean in parliament. That's been helpful to community Blah Blah Blah say. No one listens to each other anymore. People just spout the same thing. So I'm not sure engaging in that kind of way addressing head on is that helpful she because people just don't want to listen right. I'm sure it's the same here with trump and I'm sure there are people who are vehemently say one one thing you don't want to listen to the side. Yes that is. That is a problem that area. So I think that's something we've seen a lot particular around brexit and all these issues as we've had in the UK and the F. But so my show anyway. Mike show look comedy show. That's the the the main PARV. So I'll tell you briefly I mean essence shows. It's about yeah. Tell us about the show but then I also want to hear more about Enron and your friendship so the show about my friend she was Enron said. So that's the kind of I think in film in terms they call that the macguffin. He's kind of you know that you heard that term. I'm not familiar with that. So it's like using the original star wars. I think C. Three Po an onto d two of the macguffin that they're the ones like sent off into onto the desert and enter tattooing. They've got the messages item. Thank you the whole plot revolves from. Then there's no actually about them but it starts from them so in a way money's the macguffin hit because is a true story we're good friends we went untold together. And he's very interested custody my life he didn't know much about Judaism me belly of June. We spent many hours together in the call. He was always drawing because he he's Muslim. Couldn't in claiming been drinking and he's always asked me questions and I kind of wanted to teach him about Judaism. But where do you start. We've got six hundred thirteen commandments. It's too long to the call I didn't want to spend money on guests so I thought well I teach him about the Ten Commandments. And we started looking at the Ten Commandments. And I unrealized. They're not that practical you know he doesn't have an ox next all so there's no need to worry about not coveting it and I so I could. Maybe set myself challenge of coming up with my own ten commandments. That I could be a bit more practical. But they could actually explain what it's like to be an Orthodox Jew in two thousand twenty and in a way. It was my friendship with him. That made me reconsider my Judaism. Because she had I've been living as an Orthodox Jew for the best part of twenty years but it's only when an outside comes along install challenging us at you start having to think about it you start thinking about your love. So that's what the shows about and it's about me going through these ten commandments. My New Ten Commandments. antiquing this to him okay. So do you mind sharing a few of the talk commanded if you're the one of them is thou shalt develop obsessive compulsive disorder okay. She's an integral Paulsville so shoot as But we cover branch of Judy. Check that box right exactly. So we cover a lot of these areas we cover kosher food and living in a Jewish area. We talk about the curse of praying public and this covers a lot of ground really comes a lot of ground in the show and then And then the story I keep finished. The story has a continuation because of how Im- reacted and then what we went off did something together which I don't want to spoil because that's the narrative But it's a pretty funny chairman. I it really is. I'm super proud of it. So you say I did. This show could street Lennox. It was aimed at a Jewish audience. All Jews knock. He's also dogs. Reform Perform Conservative unaffiliated. But Still Jews and I think it's a really. I really wanted to do something. Everyone could cutting joy That would be in a language WIGGs. Everyone can understand but the is serious does not scrimp on the jokes atone. It's the funniest show of ever done this by miles miles because I've already but still called the serious stuff when we do discuss antisemitism and there are some real takeaways well foam it excellent zone. The show's name. Is Ashley. Blaker friendly it's at the Soho playhouse here in New York City from February third to twenty-third. Thank you for joining us. Thank