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Elon Gold’s New Talk Show Reels in A-list Guests, Tackles Important Topics

“I’m a guy who doesn’t have a network behind him, but I still get A-listers on,” says Gold.
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June 23, 2020

Not everyone stays up to watch Late Night talk shows, and that’s okay, because comedian Elon Gold has a new talk show that airs at 6:13PM PST nightly. And yes, the specificity of that start time is a deliberate correlation to the number of mitzvahs in the Torah. This sets the tone for a very uniquely Jewish entertainment experience for the duration of his 18-minute show.

Even better, you don’t need a television to watch. Gold’s new show, ‘My Funny Quarantine’ airs on Instagram Live, and brings in some of Hollywood’s most sought-after guests. Among them—Bob Saget, Tiffany Haddish, Judd Apatow, Jay Leno, Howie Mandel, Jeff Garlin, Nikki Glaser, Scooter Braun, Michael Cera, Iliza Sleschinger, Josh Malina, Amanda Peet, and more every day…

Every night Monday to Thursday, Gold has two special guests, and more often than not, they are other comedians. “Imagine if you could watch two comedians Facetiming. That’s what the guest segment is like,” says Gold, who jokes that his show is “the 2nd hottest show on phones.” Gold himself awards his good friend and frequent guest, Jeff Ross’s ‘InstaRoast’ as the “#1 hottest show on phones.”

“I’m a guy who doesn’t have a network behind him, but I still get A-listers on,” says Gold.

After 30 years in show business developing and cultivating relationships, the chemistry between Gold and his guests becomes apparent. You can feel the mutual love and admiration. But the best part, he believes, is when they start “riffing, kibitzing and kvetching.”

The show, which is based on the classic song “My Funny Valentine” was bred during the infancy of the Coronavirus lockdown.

“The comedy clubs closed and there were no more fundraisers,” says Gold. “But a pandemic can’t stop a comedian from hitting a stage.” He just hadn’t figured out that the stage would be a social media platform.

“My first thought when this happened was—yay I finally get to binge watch—I haven’t seen Breaking Bad. I don’t even know what Game of Thrones looks like. By day 2, I was like I want to tell jokes.”

Gold began releasing old comedy clips from his special, and people started messaging him with sentiments like “I needed this.”

When he realized he was going to run out of bits, he knew he couldn’t just wait for a phone call from NBC. “If a network isn’t giving me a show, I’ll just give myself one!”

Gold has one simple goal with his new show: “I want every Jew around the world to get to sit down for 18 minutes and laugh at our shared experiences.”

While he may not have reached his goal just yet, he’s certainly giving much of the Jewish world a lot of great, Jewish, funny content. His clips are being shared on platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp in countries from Canada to Israel where many of the routines and interviews from the show have gone viral.

Like the time Howie Mandel told a very personal story about saying kaddish for his father while on a concert tour. “You’re not gonna see Howie talk about trying to find a minyan in Iowa and pushing his show time until after his 3rd Kaddish at 9:30pm on any of the Jimmy’s shows,” Gold tells the Journal.

Elon Gold and Howie Mandel on ‘My Funny Quarantine’

In every episode, Gold introduces a Yiddish word of the day as taught by his 82-year-old father, Sid. For his Passover episode he had an entire monologue devoted to the holiday. “I was supposed to be in Mexico at a Pesach program. I feel more like I’m in a pogrom. I’m hiding in my house having zoom Seders! There’s nothing like a zoom Seder, where you not only break the matzah, you break yontif,” he quips.

“This is the only show you will hear jokes about our holidays…I’ll do T’shabav jokes. I learned after years of doing stand up, to embrace my heritage and never be scared of alienating non-Jewish people in the audience,” he says.

Gold says he used to shy away from jokes that were “too Jewish” and reserve them for Jewish audiences only—until he saw Jon Stewart perform at Radio City Music Hall as a guest of Dave Chappelle. “Stewart did a bit on Seder plates. I watched a room full of mostly black people cracking up… and that’s when it hit me: I will never be afraid to go too deep into my customs, rituals and heritage.”

Gold is a devout Jew. He puts on Tefillin every day and has no problem talking about that in his act, or on his show where he asked actor Josh Malina ‘how many days of the week do you put on tefillin?’ during a segment he plays with guests called, “Jew-ish OR Jew-ey.” Malina and Gold also shared a mutual reaction of disgust towards Louis Farrakhan and were both perplexed at why Chelsea Handler would post a video of such a hateful person.

Gold is not afraid to talk about anti-Semitism or racism. When Black Lives Matter started trending, Gold devoted his shows to elevating Black voices. He had on comedian friends Tony Rock, Alonzo Boden, Chris Spenser and others to share their experiences with racism in America while Elon told them his purpose with these shows is to ‘shut up and listen.’

While the show is apolitical, Trump impersonator Bob DiBuono joins Gold for the last few minutes of every episode to do a ‘Brief Briefing’—a parody of the President’s 2-hour long Television briefings. Gold says he makes sure to book end the show with comedy. Every show opens with a monologue laden with riffs, like having “Almond Privilege” (he says he doesn’t consider himself a ‘white guy.’)

“I’m a white guy the way almond milk is milk. It’s the right color, but it ain’t milk!” he says.

Gold ends the show with what he considers “The best Trump impression on the planet, and also the most hilarious stuff you will ever hear coming out of Trump’s mouth and that’s including his actual insane tweets!” Still, Gold is hyper-sensitive of his Jewish audience and the divide between Trump lovers/haters and so he keeps the comedy non-partisan and light-hearted.

Before other comedians and celebrities took to Instagram Live, Gold had already began producing My Funny Quarantine.

“This was before the late-night shows ceased production and did their at-home versions,” he noted. “And they have a team of writers, a research staff and a talent booking department. This show is just me and my ‘producers’ who happen to be my 19-year-old son and brother-in-law,” says Gold.

Gold’s brother-in came to LA with his wife and two kids to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of Gold’s other son, Darren. Because of the pandemic, they have lived together for 100+ days. Gold’s family of 6 doubled to a household of 12, including his parents. Does he mind? “It gives me so much fodder for the show, I don’t want them to go home!”

Gold also says he loves that the pandemic has given him the time to spend time with his family that he wouldn’t have otherwise had—“other than the arguments with the wife, which have been exacerbated thanks to quarantine.”

And so he added a segment to his show where he invites his audience to play, “What are you fighting with your spouse about today?”

His main objective?

To give people a “break from the Meshugas.” And that’s why people tune in.

“It affects people so positively,” Gold says. “But I can’t say this is an entirely selfless endeavor. It’s helped me keep my sanity. It gives me something to focus on. It gives me ambition and allows me to work out my comedy muscles when there’s not too many venues to do that.” Gold said that while his touring and gigging has stopped dead in its tracks, he’s doing tons of Zoom comedy shows for corporations, organizations, and even private parties. “No matter what is going on in the world, people will always crave comedy. We just need it, so I’m not worried that my live gigs have ended for now, because there are other ways to deliver laughs to people. Now I’m delivering directly to their homes. Like Amazon, without the piled up cardboard boxes.”

“I also love knowing that my core base of fans are my people, and that I’m connecting with them much more deeply than I would at a comedy club or on a TV show,” he says.

“Just yesterday I got a DM from a fan that said, ‘Watching your show made my day….I’m sure it made G-d’s too!’ And after reading that I realized, what started as a goofy, experimental Instagram live show, has allowed me to fulfill my purpose. Not to mention, how many people out there get to make G-d’s day???”

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