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Remembering Jean Carroll, Trailblazing Jewish Comedienne

Listen to one of Carroll’s classic bits

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Carroll in 1953(Photofest)

Jean Carroll, one of the first women to make it as a solo stand-up comedian, died last Friday. Born Celine Zeigman in 1911, Carroll began her career in vaudeville, performing as a duo with her husband, Buddy Howe. But it was as a solo performer in the 1940s that she came into her own, flouting social convention both in her routines and by her very presence on stage. She appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show more than 20 times, and ultimately served as a protoype for comics such as Joan Rivers and Lily Tomlin. Cory Kahaney, who wrote and performs a stage show honoring Jewish woman comedians, had this to say (on our Vox Tablet podcast) about first discovering Carroll:

And here is Carroll delightfully lampooning the snobbery of girls working in a dress shop (courtesy of Cory Kahaney):

Jean Carroll, 98, Is Dead; Blended Wit and Beauty [NYT]

Related: Funny Girls [Tablet Magazine]

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Remembering Jean Carroll, Trailblazing Jewish Comedienne

Listen to one of Carroll’s classic bits

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