Okay to Laugh? Israeli comedian Benji Lovitt coming to Metairie

Benji Lovitt has been there before.

While the mood in the Jewish world has been somber and serious since Oct. 7, the well-known Israeli comedian will be in Metairie on April 13 for “Israeli Humor: Is It Okay to Laugh?”

During Operation Protective Edge in 2014, his quips about that major conflict in Gaza led to him being called the only reason Israelis had to go on Facebook during an otherwise depressing time.

If he were to stop joking about Israel, he says, that is when you should start worrying.

A Dallas native, Lovett made Aliyah in 2006, and ever since he has performed for audiences around the world, chronicling cultural differences and detailing the immigrant experience. His material includes embarrassing Hebrew mistakes, Jewish holidays and the differences between Israeli and Diaspora Jews — partly to show audiences a side of the country that they don’t get on the evening news.

With Joel Chasnoff, he co-authored the award-winning book “Israel 201: Your Next-Level Guide to the Magic, Mystery and Chaos of Life in the Holy Land.”

He will be at Shir Chadash for the first program in the Will Samuels Legacy Event Series. Samuels, who died of cancer in 2021 at the age of 52, was co-founder of the King Cake Hub after closing Pizza Nola, which was known for quirky events, including an annual Sharknado party around the SyFy original movies.

Event Chair Rebecca Russell said that while this program is organized by the staff and volunteer leadership of Shir Chadash, it is open to the entire community.

“Shir Chadash is looking forward to joining with the community in laughter and learning about Israeli humor,” Russell said.

Tickets are $36, $18 for students. The $90 patron level comes with reserved seating. Doors will open at 8 p.m., with the show at 8:30 p.m. There will be a wine and dessert reception.