ivor dembina

Old Jewish Jokes

Please check back here for all of Ivor Dembina's future performances including those of Old Jewish Jokes. Further details and tickets here


Old Jewish Jokes is the most successful ever UK Jewish comedy show. For over five years it has played to sell-out houses and garnered four and five star reviews at the Edinburgh fringe. it has played countless residencies in London and has been staged as far afield as Berlin and Melbourne.

In 2019 it received the the Editors' Pick of the Fringe award at the Edinburgh festival. Edinburgh 2019 Editor's Pick Top Ten Award from ThreeWeeks.

Old Jewish Jokes tells the story of a modern Jewish comic who has been invited to perform at a synagogue benefit function. However, upon arrival at the gig, he is given a shopping list of subjects he must not joke about.

We enjoy the spectacle of an ethnic comedian encountering censorship by his own community. In the course of the show we see the comedian torn between his desire to present challenging subject matter and the audience's expectation to hear only material they are familiar with.

Old Jewish Jokes, is a fun, revealing and truthful story, drawing on both ancient and modern in the great tradition of Jewish humour.

Here's the latest five star review from ThreeWeeks (August 2019)

Ivor Dembina has been a stand-up comedian for 30 years. When he started out, a new scene was developing: out went the dad jokes and in came alternative comedy. Dembina’s dad had other ideas, however, advising his son to carry on with some ‘Old Jewish Jokes’. When he became an established comic, his local community synagogue wanted him to do a fundraiser, providing the content would be appropriate: imagine a modern Jewish comedian prohibited from telling jokes about money, sex or anti-Semitism. Though these themes seem brash and hard to swallow (the two walkouts might be testament to that), Dembina’s perfectly-crafted method of telling a joke – either from his own experiences or from a Jewish joke book – will have you howling with laughter.
Laughing Horse @ Finnegan’s Wake, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 [Kieran Scott]

Ivor Dembina is the author and presenter of Old Jewish Jokes. He has been working as a writer, performer and comedy club organizer for nearly 40 years.

For some details of his activities see his Wikipedia page here.

Or look at some archive material at his other site.

There is more archive material to be found in the Ivor Dembina Collection in the University of Kent's British Stand- Up Comedy Archive. Click here.


Due to CV-19 there are no live shows scheduled.  Please look out for online performances coming soon.


Website (if applicable) www.oldjewishjokes.co.uk



These image are free to download but please, kindly credit the photographer.

image of ivor dembina
photo: Steph Bor
ivor dembina
photo: Steph Bor

ivor dembina

photo: Steph Bor

ivor dembina

photo: Steph Bor





From time to time, Ivor Dembina conducts his comedy Drop-in in which he passes on his experience of working in comedy to anyone who is wants to hear about them. Although some people attend regularly, he stresses it is not a comedy course but rather an informal and inexpensive opportunity to share experiences and ideas. He says he learns just as much from the newcomers as he hopes they learn from him.

More information here.

Think Before you laugh is Ivor Dembina's original comedy web site.  It contains a fair bit of interesting archive material. Take a look here.

In April 1994 Ivor Dembina founded his own comedy night entitled the Hampstead Comedy Club. For over 25 years he has hosted regular Saturday night comedy line-ups featuring a variety of circuit regulars, talented newcomers and a sprinkling of TV stars.

The guided principle throughout the Club's existence has remained the same: Great shows! Great venue! Great Value!

The Club currently resides in Camden Town under the wider umbrella of the Camden Comedy Club, but, if you'd like more information about Ivor Dembina's regular nights, view his future programme and purchase tickets click here. Telephone enquiries 07722 832635.

Ivor Dembina's comedy is informed by his politics. He is 68 years of age and has been a socialist throughout his life. He is a veteran of many campaigns and has organised or taken part in countless comedy benefit shows.

He has been in Equity for nearly 40 years, and is a member of the Labour Party and deputy chair of Bishop's Ward within the constituency party of Vauxhall Constituency Labour Party. He is also active in JVL - Jewish Voice for Labour.

He is National Treasurer of the Jewish Socialists Group and a signatory to Jews for Justice for Palestinians.


Contact Ivor Dembina as follows.

General enquiries dembonet@aol.com

Hampstead Comedy Club comedyclubs@aol.com

Comedy Drop-in ivordembina@aol.com

Facebook at facebook.com/ivor.dembina

Twitter @ivordembina