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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Canadian comedians take Israel by Storm (May31st – June 5th Show Schedule)

Yuk Yuk’s Takes Israel by Storm

Canada’s national standup comedy club, Yuk Yuk’s, is heading to the Holy Land – and bringing with it a taste of unique Canadian humour.

Mark Breslin, founder and CEO of the world’s largest chain of comedy clubs, will be bringing six of his top comedians to perform at selected venues in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, along with some surprise locations along the way. The tour takes place from May 30th to June 7th, and will form the basis of a documentary exploring the role of culture and comedy in Canada and Israel – and how the trip impacts the comedians themselves. The documentary will be produced and directed by Igal Hecht, who has produced over 50 documentary films, including the award winning “Shield of Solomon” (2009) and “The Hilltops” (2011).

Hecht’s most recent project was “Muzika”, a television series highlighting the top names in Israeli music. Muzika is currently airing in the US and Canada.

The comics on this groundbreaking tour are Aaron Berg, Nikki Payne, Rebecca Kohler, Jean-Paul, Sam Easton, and Michael Khardas. Two are Jewish, and four are non-Jewish.

The tour is sponsored by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and several supporting contributors, with co-sponsorship from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The documentary will be aired on the CBC, with plans for later submission to film and documentary festivals around the world.

Breslin was excited for the trip, which he sees as strengthening the friendship between Canada and Israel through the universal medium of comedy. “I’m hoping that this can begin a cultural exchange of comedy between the two nations,” said Breslin. “My plans are to meet with a variety of Israeli comics in the hopes of having them perform for Canadian audiences in our clubs across Canada.”

Yuk Yuk’s has been responsible for launching the careers of renowned comics like Howie Mandel and Jim Carrey, with its clubs presenting comedy to over one million Canadians annually since being established in 1976. “Comedy reveals a great deal about one’s country, and it’s a great way to connect with others across cultures and borders,” said Breslin. “Without question, the Middle East and the world in general needs more laughter.”

Show Schedule


21.00 – Show in Jerusalem, at AACI

Yuks Yuks Canadian Comics at AACI!
Canadian Comedians Nikki Payne, Aaron Berg, Sam Easton, Rebecca Kohler and Jean Paul are coming all the way from Canada to perform for you, here at AACI!

Including a variety of backgrounds and performance highlights such as Saturday Night Live, Just For Laughs, Winnipeg Comedy Festival, Comedy Night in Canada, and a variety of television shows and movies, these Comedians are coming to ply their trade in solidarity with Israel. Come on out and show them our support for their efforts and craft.

When: Thursday, May 31, 21:00
Where: AACI – Dr. Max and Gianna Glassman Family Center
Cost: 40 NIS/30 NIS for AACI members
Pre-register at 02-566-1181


20.30 – Show in East Jerusalem at Legacy Hotel – Free Outdoor show


22.00 and 00.00 – Shows in Jerusalem, at Off the Wall Comedy Club

One night, two hilarious shows!at Off The Wall Comedy Basement The Best Place To Laugh In The Holy City – For more info click here


22.00 – Show at IDC, Herzelya – Free Outdoor show

Includes performance by Benji Lovitt:
“As one of the top English-speaking comedians in Israel, I have performed for audiences throughout North America and Israel (full list here.)  My perspectives on life here have been featured on Israeli television and radio and in publications such as the Jerusalem Post, the Times of Israel, and the Jewish Daily Forward.  My annual Independence Day list of things I love about Israel has developed a huge following (last week’s edition has gained almost 7000 Facebook “likes” in under a week) and I have become a highly demanded speaker on the “Jewish circuit”.  I also opened for comedian Jim Gaffigan during his visit to Israel in 2009″.


22.00 – Show in Tel Aviv, at Heseg House – Free show


Nikki Payne

The East Coast is famous for it’s seafood; fiddle music and a little lady who humps things, named Nikki Payne. Growing up in a trailer park with a speech impediment may sound tragic to many, but it is comedic gold to Nikki Payne. Not letting anything stand in her way, she has been nominated for two Gemini Awards, and has won countless Canadian Comedy Awards.She is most known for her appearance on NBC’s ‘Last Comic Standing’ and Much Music’s ‘Video on Trial’. Nikki has written for ‘This Hour Has 22 Minutes”, ‘Comedy Inc’ and ‘Pop- Cultured’. Nikki’s CTV’s ‘Comedy Now’ special is one of the highest rated ever in all the world’s history!

To quote Nikki’s mom, “She’s just so darn cute”, you won’t want to miss it!

Aaron Berg

“There are few comics around doing this material. Lenny Bruce would approve.” NOW MAGAZINE“A Breakout star!” ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT“There is a new barbarian knocking at the gates of comedy.”


Originally from Toronto, Aaron was the winner of the 2007 COCA Comedian of the Year Award. It’s not just what Aaron does that makes him who he is but what he doesn’t do as well…One of a select group of comedians to turn down Last Comic Standing auditions due to it’s irreverent approach to mediocrity gives him a great crutch known as integrity. Aaron has been nominated for two Canadian Comedy Awards and is the writer/performer of THE UNDERBELLY DIARIES, the sordid tales of his part time experiences as a male stripper. Aaron has also appeared in award winning films, as well as the cult hit DETROIT

Sam Easton

“Offbeat brilliance” Brad Oswald, Winnipeg Free Press

“Whether it’s acting, or alone behind a mike, Sam Easton is one to watch” Guy Macpherson, Georgia Straight

Star of FINAL DESTINATION 3 and THE L WORD. Winner of The Phil Hartman Award, nominated for the Tim Sims Award, and two Canadian Comedy Awards.

Rebecca Kohler

Fathered by an eccentric and quick-witted Canadian diplomat, Rebecca Kohler has made her home all over the world. From Brazil to Thailand, Rebecca learned that the one thing that tied people together was their love of laughter – and pointing at her. After moving to Montreal, Rebecca took the stage for the first time and was met with great success. The laughter remained, but the pointing (mostly) stopped. Her credits include: The Broad Appeal Show, The Just For Laughs Homegrown Competition (local), The Young Guns of Stand Up Comedy, The New Voices of Comedy, The Geeks of Comedy and Comedy Night In Canada at the Just For Laughs Festival.

Jean Paul

“Savage wit and spontaneous combustion combine into an explosive comedic barrage. This cat is fearless. In terms of any kind of act, he works without a net. He is so freewheeling it’s almost psychedelic.” Daryl Jung, NOW MAGAZINE

Jean Paul’s comedy is culled from his cultural crazy quilt of a childhood – born in Trinidad, raised in Brooklyn and currently residing in Toronto.

This in itself explains his kaleidoscope of accents. He’s funked up, has a twinkle in his eyes and is deadly articulate. Feeding off the vibe of a room makes his performances electrifying. Says Jean Paul, “I was always into comedy, even as a kid. I found it fascinating. Some of my friends were into model car kits. I was into Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Bill Cosby”

Michael Khardas

Michael Khardas is an Israeli-Canadian writer and performer based out of Toronto, Canada. Michael has been doing stand up comedy since the tender age of 18, performing for a variety of different venues internationally. Having performed all over North America, Europe, and Israel, Michael has crafted his style of Jewish ethnic comedy to entertain even the toughest of spectators, all while utilizing the gentle art of clean comedy.

In June 2007, he was featured in a full page article in the Jerusalem Post, praising him as one of the top English speaking comedians to come out of Israel. Michael is currently working as a writer and comedian in the Canadian comedy circuit.

The Host: Mark Breslin

In 1974, Breslin opened the first Yuk Yuk’s, in the basement of Toronto’s Church Street Community Centre. Two years and many sweaty shows later, the Yuk Yuk’s flag ship was moved to 1280 Bay Street in the trendy Yorkville district. Over the next decade, Yuk Yuk’s would expand to its present reach of fourteen clubs across Canada.

Breslin has produced such television programs as “Late Night with Joan Rivers” for Fox Broadcasting, “Yuk Yuk’s – the TV show” for CBC TV and “Mondo Taboo”, two pay-per-view specials for The Movie Network. He was executive producer on “Friday Night with Ralph Benmergui” for CBC TV and “Yuk Yuk’s 25th Anniversary Special” for the Comedy Network. Currently, Breslin is a story consultant on “Kenny vs Spenny” for CBC TV and Showcase.