Legendary Comedian/Recording Artist Jackie Mason, Dead At 93

Famed Jewish comedian and recording artist, Jackie Mason, who rose from a modest childhood on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to become one of the most famous funnymen of all time passed away on Saturday (7.24) at the age of 93.

Like many comics of his time, Mason recorded a series of successful albums including I Want to Leave You with the Words of a Great Comedian (1963), The World According to Me!(1983), Brand New (1991) Politically Incorrect(1994), In Israel (1995), Prune Danish (2002), Freshly Squeezed (2005), Much Ado About Everything (2005), The Ultimate Jew (2008), Fearless (2012), A Night at the Opera (2014), Live at Westbury 2013 and  On Campus (2014)

Born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, to immigrant parents from Belarus, Mason’s family moved to Manhattan when Jackie (born Yacov Moshe Maza) was 5-years old.

Prior to his comic career, Mason was an ordained rabbi and was the favorite comedian of the Queen Mother and Prince Charles, and performed frequently for the royals. 

Mason’s famed one-man show, The World According to Me! made Jackie a triumph of Broadway in the 1980s, after he was banned from “The Ed Sullivan Show” 1968 when the host mistakenly believed Mason gave him the middle finger during an interruption. 

Known for his “Borscht Belt” style of comedy, often seen in the era of Catskill summer resort entertainment, Mason’s trademark was continuing that kind of performance style long after the vacation spots were mere memories. 

Mason died at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan Saturday, with his wife Jyll and a few friends by his side, longtime pal and lawyer Raoul Felder told The Post. 

“We shall never see his like again. This was a mold that was broken,” an emotional Felder said. “We’re going to miss him.”

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Author: Brad LeBeau

Photo: Carl Lender