Seniors make dirty jokes in ‘Good Timing with Jo Firestone’

During the peak of the pandemic, a gaggle of 16 senior residents discovered a method to preserve laughing.

The elders have been two lessons right into a comedy workshop led by comedian Jo Firestone at NYC’s Greenwich House when COVID-19 shut the world down. So they took their weekly periods to Zoom.

“This was a terrible time,” Firestone, 33, informed The Post. “These people were in their homes and dedicated to finding jokes. They wanted to find light in the darkness.”

In June 2021, they lastly met once more to renew in-person periods. The purpose: to organize for a stand-up efficiency solely days later. The workshops and the following showcases are the topic of the pleasant new particular, “Good Timing With Jo Firestone.”

Streaming Oct. 15 on Peacock, “Good Timing” brings us into the lives and quirky minds of the Big Apple seniors whose superior age has accomplished little to dim their love of laughter.

"Good Timing with Jo Firestone" showcases senior citizens taking stand up comedy classes
“Good Timing With Jo Firestone” showcases senior residents taking stand-up comedy lessons, together with Bill Burke, 68, clad simply in a Speedo and pasties for his efficiency.
Heidi Gutman/Peacock

Ranging in age from their mid 60s to late 80s, most are comedy novices, whereas a handful have efficiency backgrounds. Among the solid of characters is Elaine Witt, 71, a retired instructor who bought a couple of jokes to Joan Rivers; 71-year-old bar-joke aficionado Barbara Bova; Teresa Hommel, 76, who wears three masks all the present; and Zygy Susser, 71, a former claims consultant for social safety fulfilling his dream of being “professionally funny.” There are additionally two married {couples} in the group.

Firestone mentioned she realized early on that she wasn’t truly going to show them stand-up comedy. “I’m attempting to make them really feel snug sufficient with their very own bizarre ideas and what they suppose is the trustworthy reality in this world.

Firestone with her students
Firestone (middle) laughs it up with her advanced-age comedy college students.
Heidi Gutman/Peacock

“I wouldn’t say any of them has the same sense of humor but they all have more life experiences than me, so it’s interesting to hear their stories,” mentioned Firestone, who has written for and appeared in sketches for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

But all of them have one factor in frequent:

“It’s a pretty blue group, and we meet at 10 a.m. on Mondays. By 10:10, there’s at least one diarrhea or penis joke,” mentioned Firestone.

Evana Lewis tries her hand at standup comedy.
Evana Lewis tries her hand at standup comedy.
Heidi Gutman/Peacock

That irreverence is on show when Firestone leads them by a collection of workout routines and questions. She duties them with discovering different phrases for canine feces. Lynne Fetch, a 71-year-old with an encyclopedic information for jokes, quips, “poodle noodle.”

When Firestone asks what’s the worst factor one can have on a T-shirt, journalist and sophistication member Tequila Minsky mentioned she noticed a shirt that learn, “Eat p-ssy, it’s organic.” But since listening to isn’t the demo’s sturdy go well with, Minsky, 73, is compelled to repeat it as giggles fill the room.

The day of the efficiency, the group takes a celebration bus to the venue and so they pump one another up. Onstage, they’re the nice, the unhealthy and the accident-prone. Bibi Elvers, 88, takes a spill. Like a trooper, she continues her set from the bottom.

Bill Burke, 68, surprises everybody when he emerges in entrance of the microphone in a Speedo and pasties. “My wife left me recently,” he says, deadpan, as she embarrassedly appears to be like on from the viewers.

“We did not know that was going to happen,” mentioned Firestone. “But at the end it was very sweet. When we stopped rolling, Bill gave me my own pair of pasties. I use them as bookmarks.”

Alix Elias yuks it up on "Good Timing with Jo Firestone."
Alix Elias yuks it up on “Good Timing with Jo Firestone.”
Heidi Gutman/Peacock

And whereas the seniors — who nonetheless meet weekly — are sharpening their writing and joke-telling abilities with Firestone’s assist, it’s the instructor who insists she’s studying extra. She mentioned her older pupils have given her a renewed, refreshed have a look at her personal craft.

“If you do comedy for a long time, there’s a bitterness around you and you start to feel it and there’s all this competition and weird industry stuff and you start to feel dead inside,” she mentioned. 

“To be around people who really love to make jokes and make each other laugh and come up with new ideas each time — it’s so invigorating and energizing and it makes me want to write more ideas and keep up with them.”

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