Booker & Foster

When You're in Love the Whole World Is Jewish

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After the comedy album You Don't Have to Be Jewish became a major hit in 1965 (hitting the Top Ten and selling a million copies), a sequel was clearly in order, and producers Bob Booker and George Foster brought back most of the crew from the first album back for 1966's When You're in Love the Whole World Is Jewish. The most notable difference between the two albums is When You're in Love's addition of several musical comedy numbers; the opening number "Would You Believe It?" and the titular closing tune are raucous celebrations of Semitic romance, "The Ballad of Irving" ("the 142nd fastest gun in the west") is a take-off on Western ballads in which a Jewish gunfighter shleps across the Texas plains, and "Things Might Have Been Different" imagines how Jews might have tackled certain dilemmas throughout history. And while most of the rest of the album is devoted to short blackout skits drawn from classic Jewish humor, there's one more ambitious routine, "The Bar Mitzvah", which is worthy of Mad Magazine at its peak. And once again Lou Jacobi and Betty Walker show themselves to be master comedians, while Valerie Harper got her first break playing a nice Jewish girl on this disc, four years before she rose to fame as Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. While When You're In Love the Whole World Is Jewish isn't quite as strong or cohesive as You Don't Have to Be Jewish, there's no arguing it features some great material brought to life by a solid cast, and if you have an interest in recorded comedy from the '60s, there should be room for this in your collection.