Ed Helms, Jeremy Lawrence, and Seth Herzog in “Helms Family Hoedown.”
When Daily Show writer Rob Kutner moved to New York City five years ago, he corralled a group of performers and comedians to join him in a “Purimspiel”—a live (and generally raucous) parody of the biblical tale of Queen Esther, who saved the Jews of Persia from Haman’s murderous plot. A year later, word had spread that this was not your ordinary song and dance act. Kutner was turning away people at the door.
In their fifth annual presentation, called the Shushan Channel, which took place this past weekend, on Purim, Stephen Colbert wielded a grogger and Queen Esther snagged the top prize on America’s Next Top Model.
Rob and two of his actors—Seth Herzog and Raquel Hecker—speak with Nextbook about the origins of their spiel and perform a sketch from it.