Comic Jackie Mason requested that Arab-American comedian Ray Hanania not open for his act at a Midwest club, several Chicago papers have reported. The Windy City nitespot, Zanies, agreed and canceled Hanania's engagement.
The club's manager, Linda Moses, told the Chicago Tribune that Mason "was a little concerned with having a Palestinian open for a Jewish person." Jyll Rosenfeld, Mason's manager, told the Chicago Sun-Times, "Jackie does not feel comfortable having a Palestinian open for him. Right now it's a very sensitive thing. It's just not a good idea."
Jackie Mason will open his latest one-man show Prune Danish at Broadway's Royale Theatre on Oct. 8, and is developing a new musical, Laughing Room Only, with Paper Mill: The State Theatre of New Jersey.
Hanania wrote a 1996 book called "I'm Glad I Look Like a Terrorist: Growing up Arab in America." His act pokes fun at terrorism, Middle East politics and Arab stereotypes.
—By Robert Simonson