Orthodox Jewish Woman wins NY Comedy Prize

by Reuters 6/27/2003

New York (Reuters) - Joan Weiner wears the wig and long skirt of an orthodox Jewish woman but she is far from hemmed in by tradition.

The unemployed writer and multimedia producer is the first woman to win one of the biggest Jewish stand-up comedy bouts in the United States.

Manhattan-based Jewish Week reported Friday that Weiner won the newspaper's fifth annual Funniest Amateur Comedian competition.

"I'm a feminist. I believe in a woman's right to choose her own jewelry," Weiner told a sold-out audience at Gotham Comedy Club during Monday night's competition.

Weiner's entry was unusual for a traditional orthodox woman because they tend to be modest and shy away from public appearances.

Her humor swings from gender jokes about jewelry to the political.

"Wrapping it in a blue Tiffany's box won't make up for it. Jewish women get their jewelry appraised," she quipped, according to Jewish Week, which describes itself as the largest Jewish newspaper in the United States.

Weiner's prize? A gift certificate to Macy's department store, which, incidentally, does sell jewelry.