Newsweek Web Exclusive
Updated: 2:15 p.m. ET Aug. 3, 2006
RABBI BOB ALPER, East Dorset, Vt.: My stand-up comedy partner, Nazareth, and I are not only an odd couple as an Arab and a rabbi, but we live far apart too. He's in Corona, Calif., and I'm in Vermont. Generally we fly separately into the city of the performance, enjoy dinner together and then do our nonpolitical, healing comedy show. The next morning, it's back to our different ends of the country. Flying together, we've realized, could be risky. Not because he's an Arab, but because we're both comedians, and we might get ourselves into double trouble. When we're not together, Nazz and I communicate regularly by e-mail and phone, sharing news and sorting out logistics. One Sunday, I was changing planes at Newark's Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. I needed to check some dates with Nazz, and rather than call, since it was early morning at his home, I sent an e-mail, then flew on the second leg of my journey. Soon after landing, my cell phone rang. It was Nazz, laughing. Turns out he was on the road, too, returning home from a show in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. In fact, at the very moment I had been e-mailing him from the Continental Airlines President's Club in Newark airport's concourse C1, he was sipping coffee at Continental's President's Club on concourse C2 in the same airport. For our next show we'll actually travel together, at least part of the way. Arab and Jew, landlubbers both, we'll become sailors, riding the ferry to a show at a church on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts. We may get seasick, but it'll be worthwhile. Think of the great new material we'll develop.