Comedy and Catharsis in a Time of Crisis: A CANVAS Conversation

comedy catharsis

Thursday, September 10, 2020, 1:30pm – 3:00pm EDT

This is the second program in the CANVAS Conversations series, “Why We Invest in Our Creative Community.”

Jews have always relied on humor to endure difficult times—and this is an especially difficult time. But many of the tools the best performers and producers rely on—the theater, the comedy club, a live audience—are inaccessible or compromised in quarantine conditions. For this conversation, CANVAS has invited four masters of the craft to share how they are lifting spirits and finding new ways to work in a time of crisis. 

How does the creative community support and elevate the broader Jewish community? How can the philanthropic community better support their work to make us laugh, perceive ourselves in a new light, and distract us from the hardships we face together? Lou Cove, founder of CANVAS and moderator for this discussion explores these and other questions with our guests. (To submit your own questions for our performers, please email; we will get to as many as we can during the program.)  


Tiffany Woolf, whose Dispatches From Quarantine web-series recorded the last interview with comedy legend Carl Reiner before he passed earlier this year.

Steve Bodow, longtime executive producer of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, whose new Jewish In Quarantine podcast has featured Nick Kroll, Rabbi Sharon Brous, and Senator Cory Booker.

Jenna Friedman, a standup comedian, writer and filmmaker, whose tours were cancelled when the lockdown happened. Jenna received emergency funding from CANVAS to keep working, and to produce this hysterical Joy of Quarantine web series, an unexpectedly Jewish take on the Joy of Cooking.

Jessie Kahnweiler, American actress, writer, comedian, film director and YouTube personality, whose new podcast Closening was inspired and motivated by quarantine conversations with her 99-year-old grandmother; by talking to everyone else’s Bubbe and Zayde (the true leaders of our tribe), the program brings us all closer in this time of isolation. 

CANVAS is proud to support the work of these artists through its philanthropic investments in Reboot, and in the broader Jewish creative community. Join for a JFN webinar where you’ll laugh until you cry, and immediately feel like you’re home.

Watch “Literature in a Time of Crisis,” the first in this CANVAS series:

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