Alex Edelman: Just For Us is Unapologetically Jewish

Alex Edelman in Alex Edelman: Just For Us. Photograph by Sarah Shatz/HBO.

Alex Edelman’s newest comedy special, Alex Edelman: Just For Us, will make its premiere on both HBO and Max this weekend.

The special–taped August 15-16 at the Hudson Theatre in New York–runs 89 minutes in length. Antisemitism and Israel play a substantial role in the new comedy special. I can tell you from watching that this is the type of comedy special that will likely be more appealing to Jewish viewers. After all, the comedian had an Orthodox Jewish upbringing. While I missed his recent performances of the show in Chicago, I am glad to finally have the opportunity to watch it via Max.

The comedy special goes back a few years ago to when Edelman found himself on the receiving end of antisemitic tweets. Some things never change for Jews. Anyway, he used this opportunity to school the keyboard racists while meeting them face to face at a white nationalist meeting in Queens, New York. Does this remind anyone else of Seth Rogen in Long Shot? No? Just me? Okay.

Am I the last person in the universe to learn that Alex Edelman and Israeli bobsledder/skeleton slider A.J. Edelman are brothers? In fact, here’s an excerpt from the comedy special:

“I made fun of my brother every day. I called him the Frozen Chosen for four years in a row. My mom was like, stop calling him that! This is going to be too Jewish for a couple of you but I switched over to Shul Runnings and I’m so (inaudible).”

Since initially writing my review, I confirmed that this is where Israeli skeleton slider Jared Firestone got the idea for preferring Shul Runnings to Cool Runnings in a recent Instagram ice breaker. It’s a catchy phrase. It’s what I call the rush to the Kiddush line following the end of Shabbos and Yom Tov morning services.

One of Edelman’s recurring bits is about meeting a woman named Chelsea at a white nationalist meeting. His material gets into the idea of their meeting as a romantic comedy starring Anne Hathaway and either Jesse Eisenberg or Jonah Hill. Anyway, the meeting took place around the time Confederate statues were being taken down.

Edelman on being Jewish: “I should have been aware eight days in.” In all seriousness, he wasn’t aware until eating at Chuck E. Cheese when he was five years old.

Seriously, this is certainly one of the most Jewish comedy specials I’ve ever watched. We have jokes like “Judaism is the Hotel California of religions. It is a mailing list you cannot subscribe from.”

Alex Edelman: Just For Us is very funny and unapologetically Jewish in material. If you are in need of laughs or Jewish content, I highly recommend viewing the HBO/Max special.

DIRECTOR: Alex Timbers

HBO will premiere Alex Edelman: Just For Us on April 6, 2024 at 10 PM ET/PT and it will be available to stream on Max. Grade: 5/5

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.