70 Hungarian postcards to the 70-year-old Israel
and the second generation of Hungarian Jewish humor
By Zsuzsa Shiri - 2018-04-10
Translated from the Hungarian original: Bea Sara Goll
They love to laugh at the Hungarians in Israel. Gently, not maliciously, but they guffaw at them (us) as soon as they hear us. Only very few can drop the typical Hungarian accent, many turn it into Spanish or Anglo-Saxon sounding, but only those who had arrived young enough have the hope that they will talk as if they were native speakers.
But this is not a big deal in Israel; everyone’s parents have come from somewhere else, their parents and grandparents spoke with an accent, so the Israeli are indulgent and helpful with those who struggle with language barriers. But no one can forbid them to laugh. So they say igen-shmigen and frequently engage in making fun of the Hungarians, and in this, to boot, the children of Hungarians are the leaders, who know what it is all about.
Already the legendary Zehu Ze's television comedy of the eighties has dedicated a complete broadcast to these "odd" Hungarians who would mix soccer even into a Western. "The curva! Yes? No! Nemecsekferencvárosfuckyou," shouts the wonderful Arik Einstein, and we are rolling on the floor with laughter. And with us, understandably, laughs the people of Israel, since who would not recognize the quickly wrathful Magyars cursing at the Moroccans in the utmost foul language?
Generally speaking, the second generation of Israeli Hungarians understands, but rarely speaks our language. But they still carry something in them from the Carpathian Basin, even if they had never been there: the Hungarian joke, the particular humor. They know how to laugh and how to make us laugh when we would rather cry. Adir Miller is such a second-generation actor-comedian, who, two years ago was chosen the country’s best comedian on the ynet, - and rightly so.
Based on a home-made video also shown on TV, Israel's most popular humorist born in 1974, used to be called by “gyere ide” [come here] in Hungarian as a child; his parents kept calling him until he began to move towards them.
Miller is not stupid, which is proven by the fact that he completed his military service among the most intelligent members of the new military generations, the 8200 computer intelligence unit, and then he chose comedy. He burst into the public awareness with The Ramzor (Traffic Light) series and has remained there since then. Today he is the best-known humorist in the country, who has truly not forgotten his roots.
His recurring character is Mr. Kovács, the Hungarian, with parents who were Communists, and who chased after the parents of the also Hungarian, gorgeous "Marcika Kakasvári" and who on the other hand were rich.
Adir Miller really cannot be said to even look like an alpha male, rather like Béla Salamon; but he does not play the little man of Pest, but the offspring of the little man living in Petach Tikva; Miller makes us laugh at him while making him also endlessly lovable in his vulnerability. Like Béla Salamon, Adir Miller is also an excellent actor when he is cast in a role, breaking across the boundaries of genres, as he has proven it in a series of feature films. His constant theme is the everyday world, the family, the wife, and all the trouble with the children, when he portrays us with great empathy, yet mercilessly, for us.
He is a true artist for whose stand-up shows you must buy your tickets a half a year before, because they are sold out very soon. These performances are always attended by his mother, Mariann, who has raised four children in Israel with her penetrant Hungarian accent. The other three became "just" quite simple, ordinary citizens of the country; of course they are all successful in their field.
Adir Miller in the Ramzor
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