Share “Rabbi makes people laugh on purpose”

Rabbi makes people laugh on purpose

Rabbi Bob Alper will perform his comedy routine Saturday at Emanuel Synagogue in Oklahoma City.
BY CARLA HINTON Published: February 11, 2012

A comic who knows his way around a synagogue will perform his stand-up routine at an Oklahoma City Jewish house of worship.

Bob Alper's knowledge of Jewish religious life comes naturally: He's a rabbi.

Alper, 67, said his gift of comedy comes naturally as well.

The Vermont rabbi will perform Saturday at Emanuel Synagogue, 900 NW 47.

In a telephone interview, Alper said he was always interested in comedy but chose his career path in the 1960s when there weren't many stand-up comics.

He said he became a rabbi and enjoyed leading two congregations in the Philadelphia area over a 14-year period. And he didn't let go of his dream of becoming a comic — he just utilized his humor as a holy man.

“I used humor in every aspect of my rabbinate including funerals, although you have to be careful,” he said, chuckling.

“Weddings, teaching, sermons — sometimes you have to have humor in sermons to get people's attention.”

Alper, who holds a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary, said his dream of being a comic was realized in 1986 when he left the rabbinate with a goal of opening a counseling office (his wife of 42 years, Sherri, is a psychotherapist).

Alper said he never opened the counseling office because he entered the “Funniest Jew in Philadelphia” contest. He said he didn't win — he placed third behind a chiropractor and a lawyer.

However, a local television talk show host called him and said she thought he should have won. Alper said the host invited him on her show, and his stand-up comedy career was launched.

Watch video of Bob Alper

Continue reading this story on the...

• When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

• Where: Emanuel Synagogue, 900 NW 47.

• Cost: $18 in advance, $22 at the door.

• Information: 528-2113.

Trending Now


  1. 1
    Tony Romo calls Pro Bowl an honor, but hopes Cowboys can't play
  2. 2
    Census: State population grows by nearly 25,000 in past year
  3. 3
    Former President George H.W. Bush To Remain In Hospital
  4. 4
    Lawton's Jalin Barnett gets chance to face nation's No. 1 player
  5. 5
    Fans drunk in love with Drinking Jacket Kickstarter
+ show more