Moshe Kasher stands onstage and makes people laugh, so the dictionary definition of comedian fits him, though the terminology needs some tailoring. After all, the description does not always suit Kasher snugly on his new CD, Everyone You Know Is Going to Die, And Then You Are.
Occasionally on this release from Rooftop Comedy Productions, Kasher digresses from the typical comic’s checklist and humorously but pointedly raises issues with haters and homophobes. Without the superciliousness of Keith Olbermann or the fury of Bill, no, make that Bilious O’Reilly, Kasher transforms himself from an inventive goofball into a diverting social commentator.
On the most compelling of the 22 tracks, Kasher recites offstage from a thank-you note he wrote to the audience at a comedy club in Modesto, Calif. He spends eight minutes, 24 seconds sarcastically thanking the men and women for making his performance there so uncomfortable, first by booing him for being Jewish (a heckle-able offense and worse in 1930s and 1940s Germany and, of course, in the Middle East — but now, in Modesto?) and then by hollering threats to homosexuals. Damn! Et tu, Modesto? The revolting reactions belie a city, according to its official Web site, “proud of its…multicultural lifestyles.”
The scorching soliloquy stands out for its valiant counteroffensive (comics rarely censure the customers, comedy being a funny business and all) and because it sounds so unlike any other track. Throughout, his silly side definitely overtakes his serious side. He pokes himself with most of the barbs in his act, mocking, among other things, his hybrid haircut (hint: the first letter of a homosexual euphemism + the last five letters of the surname of a despicable Nazi maniac = his sorry style). Though two of the other long asides definitely could use snipping, Kasher’s is a voice and CD worth listening to.