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seinfeld's shakey the Mohel

 
 
Reply Thu 27 Oct, 2011 12:14 pm
Does anyone know what vaudeville or Catskills comedian Shakey the Mohel in Seinfeld is based upon? The charactrer does seem like an ol' vaudeville bit.
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 1,806 • Replies: 7

 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Thu 27 Oct, 2011 04:45 pm
@chicagodanny,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohel

Quote:
Biblically, the infant's father (avi haben) is commanded to perform the circumcision himself. However, as most fathers are not comfortable or do not have the training, they designate a mohel. The mohel is specially trained in circumcision and the rituals surrounding the procedure. Many mohelim are doctors or rabbis (and some are both) or cantors. However, all are required to receive appropriate training both from the religious and medical fields.

Traditionally, the mohel uses a knife and not scissors to circumcise the newborn; glass was never used. Today, doctors and some non-Orthodox mohalim use a perforating clamp before they cut the skin. The clamp makes it easier to be precise and shortens the recovery time. However, Orthodox mohalim have rejected perforating clamps, arguing that by crushing and killing the skin it causes a great amount of unnecessary pain to the newborn, cuts off the blood flow completely, which according to Jewish law is dangerous to the child and strictly forbidden, and also renders the orlah (foreskin) as cut prior to the proper ritual cut.[citation needed]

Under Jewish law, a mohel must draw blood from the circumcision wound. Most mohels do it by hand with a suction device, but some Orthodox groups use their mouth to draw blood after cutting the foreskin.[3]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Seinfeld_minor_characters

Quote:
Shaky the Mohel --Charles Levin --After circumcising Jerry's finger during a bris, he blames Jerry, claiming he flinched. Jerry later derisively refers to him as "Shakey the Mohel" and claims that the mohel got his license from a matchbook. -- "The Bris"
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Oct, 2011 05:08 pm
@chicagodanny,
Totie Fields had a joke about a Mohel who shook, but I don't remember the lines. I would consider her Catskills and not Vaudeville. Buddy Hackett also has few jokes about Mohels that you might be able to track down. I should clarify that the joke was specifically about one who had cerebral palsy, totally not PC today.
chicagodanny
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Oct, 2011 05:26 pm
@Green Witch,
Just to be a bit more specific. To me, it seems a basic comedy act or bit where a character, not necessarily a mohel, picks on someone, for a small thing, like putting a glass on a table, and exagurates, or embellishes to a incredible degree, all the bad things that could happen, when the glass falls on the rug. This can be duplicated for endless situations. I suspect it to be an old comedy act. I suspect it is not original to Seinfeld at all. just a clever reconstruction of tried and true comedy sketch, probably from Vaudeville, or the Catskills or somewhere. However, I can't prove it.
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Thu 27 Oct, 2011 05:35 pm
@chicagodanny,
Ahhh. I think I get you now. You would have to research old Vaudeville skits and I don't know if there are that many on-line. You might want to start here:
http://vaudeville.org/
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  4  
Reply Thu 27 Oct, 2011 06:07 pm
@chicagodanny,
The rabbi gets the money for a bris, but the moel gets the tips
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Oct, 2011 06:21 pm
@farmerman,
:::groan:::
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Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Thu 27 Oct, 2011 08:07 pm
@farmerman,
Oldest bris joke in the world: what's the definition of 'bathroom menace'? Answer: a man who, at a tender age, had the misfortune of being circumcised by a cross-eyed mohel.
0 Replies
 
 

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