EDINBURGH | GLASGOW | ABERDEEN | INVERNESS | DUNDEE | PERTH

Joe Bor: A Room With A Jew

at The Stand, Edinburgh

* * * * -

A confidently-presented show that delivers on laughs

Image of Joe Bor: A Room With A Jew

A Room With A Jew provides Jewish Comedian of the Year and self-described Nicolas Cage lookalike Joe Bor with an opportunity to confidently deliver an hour of sharp, witty material that covers a wide range of topics. These include his relationship with his mother, explored through reciting their text message exchanges and showing the poorly-fitting jumper she knitted him, and his immature sense of humour compared to his friends. Bor uses this last topic to make an inspired pun concerning the Stormy Daniels affair which, along with an anecdote concerning an unfortunate incident with his penis at a Vegas stag do, result in the biggest laughs of the night.

Despite the title of his show, Bor doesn’t heavily emphasise his religion, saving it for occasional moments such as his description of how his infant son’s love of Peppa Pig causes problems at the synagogue and a notable exchange with an Iranian audience member that was both witty and cleverly-handled by both sides. The jokes concerning his mother, as well as an earlier part of his routine involving anti-Semitic caricatures, do play on Jewish stereotypes, but not to an intrusive extent. Bor places greater emphasis on his lack of masculinity in his description of awkwardly attending a boxing match with his father.

In addition, his charismatic stage presence allows him to effectively pull off the often-tricky comedic strategy of audience interaction. In particular, his running gag involving the poshness of one audience member worked every time. This quality also enables him to make usually mundane material engaging with his delivery alone, ensuring that anecdotes such as the aforementioned synagogue incident come to life without seeming overly cliched and contrived.

The only negative aspect of the night was Bor’s tendency to rush through his final jokes in order to keep to time; but other than that, A Room With A Jew is an ideal showcase for his ability to keep an audience entertained with a mixture of jokes and anecdotes that demonstrate his  comedic talents.


Adam is a budding film reviewer who is still working out how to use his Masters in Film Studies from Aberystwyth University. His main hobby is watching films, especially Hong Kong action cinema, although he has no (actual) knowledge of martial arts whatsoever! His other interests include stand-up comedy, but only as an audience member, and reading books about film. His quest to obtain a social life is still ongoing...

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