David Schneider is a writer, actor and comedian. David researched a PhD at Oxford in Yiddish drama. He is writing a play about the Moscow Yiddish state theatre. He can be seen in Hallmark’s version of The Ten Commandments.
Entirely made up by David Schneider.
From a young Israelite shepherd named David pipping the Philistine champion to the gold medal in the slingshot to the modern Jewish domination of synchronised kvetching, here’s the real history of the Olympic Games and the People of the Book AKA “How To Avoid Sport”. Actors and comedians David Schneider, Beverley Klein and Josh Howie presented some of the Jews greatest Olympic triumphs from Talmudic gymnastics (with commentary by Rashi) to 4 x 400 metres Yiddish cursing.
Put together one of America’s best novelists – the irreverent Russian-born Gary Shteyngart – and the only UK comedian who is an expert in Yiddish – the sparkling David Schneider – and you will get a super-funny, super-sharp conversation about the future of books, media culture, the fall of the American empire and our need for love.
David Schneider – comedian writer and Yiddish academic – attained fame in films and TV shows such as The Day Today and I’m Alan Partridge. He is currently writing a BBC sitcom and a play.
Opening with a melange of memoir, twisted folktale and a Yiddish lesson from one of the pioneering figures in the North American storytelling revival, Michael Wex – who believes he would have been the George Formby of Yiddish if he could only sing or play the ukulele… or if he ever made a living from it. It's like an hour of Hebrew school, with Sidney James as the teacher.
David Schneider spoke to Paul Kriwaczek about his engaging and entertaining, though controversial book on the history of the Yiddish-speaking Jews. Why does he describe Yiddish as a civilisation rather than a culture or language? Why does he start his story with the Roman Empire and end it in the 19th century when Yiddish continued to flourish for at least another century? What is the legacy of Yiddish and what its future?