Posted ByGerry O. on March 21, 2003 at 07:51:52:
In Reply to: What's the gag? posted byMichael on March 21, 2003 at 00:00:53:
Mr. Kitzel is supposed to be a Jewish character, so when he makes an Irish reference to himself, the unlikeniness of his "Irishness" is the source of the joke's humor.
That ethnic unlikeniness was a reliable source of humor for years. A favorite gag in show business was to have a law firm have a name like "Shapiro, Rabinowitz, Goldberg and O'Brien". For an added "punch" gag, a client would say to one of the law partners, "Your firm's name is quite unusual" and a partner with a heavy Yiddish accent would say, "You think THAT'S unusual? I'M O'Brien!".
This type of humor might be considered "politically incorrect" by today's standards (let's face it, what today ISN'T considered "politically incorrect"?), but in years gone by this type of humor was a regular part of mainstream stage, movie and radio comedy.
As for the re-used scripts or plot lines on Jack's show, many times there would be a certain script which had gone over very well with the studio and listening audience, so Jack would repeat the same story line (with slight variations) on a later show a few years later.
You need to remember that this was before the days of "reruns", so the average listener probably wouldn't remember the repeated script if it was presented a few years later (or at least not remember it very well).