GER­VAIS EX­PLAINS FRANK AP­PROACH

The Jewish Chronicle - - Front Page -

VIEW­ERS have threat­ened to boy­cott shows by Ricky Ger­vais, af­ter he joked that Anne Frank’s fam­ily went into hid­ing from the Nazis be­cause they did not want to pay rent.

The co­me­dian has been harshly crit­i­cised in the UK and across the At­lantic for us­ing Anne Frank as “comedic fod­der” on The

Daily Show in the US.

Host Jon Ste­wart, who is Jewish, looked vis­i­bly un­com­fort­able when Mr Ger­vais joked how the Nazis must have been “stupid” not to have found the 15-year-old di­arist and her fam­ily sooner.

Speak­ing about his TV show, An Idiot Abroad, with Karl Pilk­ing­ton, Mr Ger­vais said Mr Pilk­ing­ton had gen­uinely be­lieved the fam­ily had been try­ing to avoid pay­ing for their apart­ment.

The Frank fam­ily were dis­cov­ered, af­ter two years in hid­ing, in Au­gust 1944. Anne, her mother and sis­ter died in the con­cen­tra­tion camps.

Mr Ste­wart told Mr Ger­vais: “She didn’t live in a Nazi’s house… they didn’t come in ev­ery day,” be­fore ad­vis­ing him to “read the book”.

Mr Ger­vais has pre­vi­ously in­cluded jokes about Anne Frank in his stand-up rou­tines, such as: “She had time to write a novel; mind you, it ends a bit abruptly. No se­quel. Lazy.”

Gil­lian Walnes, di­rec­tor of the Anne Frank Trust, said the jokes could be dan­ger­ous if view­ers were not in­formed about the Frank story.

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