Jackie Mason was often seen on the streets of New York City, and remained as comedic off- stage as he was on- stage. Jackie Mason was a neighbor and friend of ours, and was often times enjoying lunch around the corner from us here at the APR57 Gallery on 200 W. 57th Street and Broadway. We are privileged enough to have been able to speak with Jackie prior to his passing, and to have been able to share a couple words, and jokes with the late Comedian who will forever be in our hearts.
Below you will find the transcribed version of the last recorded interview with the great Jackie Mason and Lee The Appraiser, owner of APR57 Gallery. If you are interested in hearing the interview via a podcast you can find the full Amazing Appraising 'Interview with Lee the Appraiser and Jackie Mason' on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Spreaker, IheartRadio amongst many other listening platforms.
JACKIE MASON INTERVIEW WITH LEE THE APPRAISER
Lee: So I want to introduce my audience, to somebody who I consider to be one of the greatest, probably the greatest, oldest living Comedians in the world today.
Jackie: Well I'm not the oldest [laughs]
Lee: Well I have to say oldest, I mean you're one of the greatest, but.. [laughs] Regardless of what you think it's a great compliment. I want you to know that. I mean-
Jackie: It's a great compliment, but it's a stupid thing to say.
Lee: Well I don't know, I, I.. [laughs/scoffs] You know I..
Jackie: It's a great thing for you, but I don't need to be reminded I'm the oldest! [laughs]
Lee: I honestly think it's meant as a great compliment, meaning that, unfortunately-
Jackie: Its a stupid thing to say. [laughs]
Lee: Over the last couple of years we lost some of the greatest Comedians from the older generation- since I was a little boy you've always been my idol.
Jackie: Is that right?
Lee: Yes sir, I always...-
Jackie: A Yiddish idol beats the guy whose not working.
[Lee and Jackie Laugh]
Lee: But really, I've always loved Comedians, and you know you were like, one of my true idols.
Jackie: Right, so whose the second idol?
Lee: [laughs] Maybe Billy, could it be Billy? I don't know..
Jackie: Billy... Billy Crystal?
Lee: No, Billy Idol [laughs]
[Jackie and Lee Laugh]
Jackie: Must be uhh... must be Don Rickles.. [laughs]
Lee: Might be Don Rickles yeah, [laughs] I'll be honest with you Jackie..
Lee: You know I loved all Comedians, and I appreciated them, but he (Don Rickles) was just strictly, like, Insulting, which I didn't mind but I didn't think he was as clever as somebody like yourself. I'll be honest.
Jackie: So whose the guy, whose the other guy, you must have another guy in mind?
Lee: No I love, I love Jerry Seinfeld, I love Ray Romano. I had a thing primarily for, you know good, what I call good, clean fun, clean Comedians, and I would say for the most part you fit that bill! You know again I -
Jackie: For the most part? [laughs]
Lee: Yeah for the most part, with the exception of a shtoop here and a shtoop there I would say, [laughs]
Jackie: The truth is, I never used a dirty word word in my life.
Lee: Thats what I'm saying! and the fact that you're thank God healthy, still good, kicking', and were performing up until very recently.
Jackie: What you just said, it's all on the air now? So you're assuming this is part of the show, that you're starting the show this way?
Lee: Yes, yes, yes, I want to introduce everyone, my entire audience, that we're very privileged to have the great Jackie Mason, as a special guest on our international radio show on WOR Radio Amazing Appraising, and we are very honored to have him as a guest. For all of you who don't know, which is probably nobody, but for all of you who don't know, he is one of the greatest, established, longest running, and performing Comedians in the country! In the world perhaps! I had seen his show, "The World According To Me" I think-
Lee: I saw it maybe 3 or 4 times, I believe you write virtually all of your own material, you know the routines that you did? The brilliance of uh, the one with Hilary Clinton, you know, when you go into the Psychiatrists office, and he says you have split personalities, so you said don't pay me pay my other personality. I thought those were brilliant, and of course with everything else, its a privilege to talk to you Jackie, and I want to thank you for joining us, So..
Jackie: Mhmm. [grunts]
Lee: So I guess for the people that dont know, do you want to give a little history of your background?
Jackie: Why not its up to you.
Lee: If it's up to me I would like to..-
Jackie: I could tell you my background, my only background is that I never saw such a brilliant man like you, and I never heard such a fantastic personality, I never heard of a guy so brilliant, that he has to remind everybody that I'm the oldest person in the world, and that I never had talent until I became passing of age, and that I probably won't last long, and you should listen to this before I knock out in the middle of the next sentence [laughs] so for a guy who knows how brilliant I am, you don't know how stupid you just sounded. So I would say, for a guy who has nothing to talk about, and nothing to say, and has to depend on me for a living- I would say you did one of the worst jobs I ever heard on the radio. [laughs]
Lee: Well thank you very much, Thank you very much and uh..-
Jackie: [laughs] This is only the beginning of how stupid you sound. You're going to sound worse if I talk longer.
Jackie: But I'm willing to take a chance, I met people worse than you, not in this country, but I heard people who dont know what they're talking about before. Its like introducing you to a guy who's on fire, he on fire right now, he'll probably live another year and a half, and 'I never saw a guy that I'm so proud to talk about as I'm passing of age, and lets hope he dies faster because I don't have much time to talk right now.'
Lee: That's very well said!
Lee: And this was, this was all of the top of you're head! all adlibbing- nothing written.
Jackie: It's not from the top its from the bottom, because on the top of my head I'm a more intelligent person, and I have more intelligent things to talk about.
Lee: [laughs] Uh-huh.-
Jackie: But when a guy is told that somebody as brilliant as you, so inventive about finding plenty of different ways to tell you, that either you're dead or you're dying. You know, stupid things are hard to find just like intelligent things are hard to find.
Lee: Uh-huh. [laughs]
Jackie: It's a great commodity when you find somebody that stupid. Thats very very rare! So you've accomplished something that nobody has before! They all know the secret that I'm an old Jew, but to emphasize it this well, and this brilliantly, that's what's very rare.
Jackie: And I think the only thing that would make you happier is if in the next sentence I pass out and you can announce, that 'the man that I told you is the oldest comedian, well I can't talk about him anymore. He just left this country, this world, and lets hope in the next century people revive him again and you'll hear the name of Jackie Mason again in 100 years from now. And if you're listening, if you are listening, and you're young enough, and you last long enough to listen to Jackie Mason another time, God Bless you all. And lets hope we can imitate the same situation. The same situation in the future and we'll have a happy time together, God bless you, and good afternoon.'
Lee: Ok, what was the question Jackie? I.. I.. I.. What was the question? [laughs]
Jackie: By the way did you hear about cameo?
Lee: Oh Cameo! We actually sell cameo jewelry.
Jackie: I'm on cameo, the people want to hear Jackie Mason on cameo.
Lee: Right, so let me tell everybody, I guess, can I tell them what cameo is? Is that alright.
Jackie: Why not you could tell them, its up to you.
Lee: I mean you know you just gave me such beautiful accolades that I guess, and compliments, about my brilliance, I guess I can go on to talk a little about cameo. So actually cameo-
Jackie: Yes, cameo is what?
Lee: Cameo for those who dont know, I'm not sure if Jackie knows, I think Jackie knows, cameo is actually an online service that what they did is, I think a few years ago they decided that for the average person that wanted to hire a celebrity, sports athlete, a spokesman, basically if they couldn't afford that person to come in person, they would say let's go to the next best thing, and they'd hire that person to do a little video clip, and say, or wish them a Happy Birthday, a Happy Anniversary. So if you loved uh, Sylvester Stallone, he's actually one of our clients and he's bought a lot of watches from us- and let's just say you loved him and your son, or your wife, or husband loved him, you could actually arrange to- I don't know if Stallone is on this, but somebody like Stallone or another famous Actor or Comedian in this case- you wanted to hire them to make a little saying for a birthday, they could tape it, and video it, and send it to you, for relatively a nominal fee, somewhere, they start at I think $50 and they go up to like $500 or $1000 depending and that would be like a once in a lifetime keepsake that they have a video of that celebrity or performer wishing them a very Happy Birthday right Jackie? Am I sort of on target with that?
Jackie: Thats how it works right
Lee: That's how it works-
Jackie: And he asked me to be one of the people to do this thing, so I said as long as I'm not busy, I'm semi -retired anyway, so if somebody told me to be a brick layer on coney island I would do that too!
Lee: Look at this, he's looking to please everybody. Yes.
Jackie: Right, right, it's a wonderful thing to be able to have the time to find someway to make people happy.
Lee: And to think through this service, you could tomorrow send your greetings to somebody in Wisconsin, right?
Lee: And speaking of Wisconsin that's where you're originally from, right?
Jackie: I'll put it this way, you and I will always be busy, and we'll always be able to talk to each other on our next project together, so God Bless ya, and thank you, thank you for this whole situation. I'm glad you had the opportunity to talk to me in person (over the phone) it s a very rare thing! Its a very rare thing today. I talk to people in person only about once every 9 years, and you got in on it. So thank you and thank you for the-
Lee: But Jackie, I want to ask you one question, actually two, I want to ask you two questions. I think its, you know this country is in crazy times right now- and I would like to know, because I mean a lot of your comedy, I understand that this is not what you meant- but a lot of your comedy, is certainly not politically correct. It's brilliant, and I think that you know, you were saying it in most of your comedy a number of years ago, when even then it was, some people found it you know, a little offensive. I didn't find it that way because I know you love everyone, but what are your thoughts on the quote, you know this culture that we have now, do you have anything to say about that or address it?
Jackie: Dont take it personally, but I gave you about 15 minutes already, I can't really spend the whole evening discussing this. If you want to talk to me further it'll cost you a few dollars. [laughs] I think I talked enough for the whole night. I'm an international star you forgot who I am!
Lee: [laughs] I didn't forget, and If did you'll remind me.. I'm sorry-
Jackie: I know you got nothing to do because you never accomplished anything in your whole life. [laughs]
But I'm busy. [laughs] I'm busy! I can't stay on the phone discussing every philosophy that you have in your mind.
Jackie: God bless you, you did a great job, but we can't do great jobs for two more hours! [laughs]
[End of interview]