Chicken Soup

In the late eighties, comedian Jackie Mason made a comeback of sorts with a one-man show that played Broadway and theaters around the nation. Entitled, The World According to Me, it was kind of a “best of” of stand-up material he’d been performing for several decades and it was very funny. ABC grabbed him up for a situation comedy that debuted on September 12, 1989 under the name, Chicken Soup. As you can see from the first ticket above, they were taping in May without having settled on that name.

On Chicken Soup, Mason played Jackie Fisher, a single Jewish man who stumbles into an odd relationship with an Irish-Catholic widow with three children. Lynn Redgrave played the widow and critics were almost unanimous in remarking how unconvincing the stars were as a couple. It was difficult to imagine the on-screen Jackie Mason being in love with anyone but certainly not Ms. Redgrave. Never have the co-stars of a situation comedy seemed so remote from one another. Only when the scripts allowed Mason to sneak in a bit of his stand-up style did the series show any life. But that didn’t happen often enough for the show to survive and it only ran eleven episodes.