Theater: Laugh Orgy

Of all the theatrical jesters in the U.S., Neil Simon is king. His latest comedy, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, is just what one might expect, a laugh orgy. But to analyze the source of laughter is more difficult than spotting a neurosis, though the two may well be related.

Ethnically, Simon's humor is Jewish, though not in the sense of dialect or In jokes. He is a master of the self-protective, self-depreciating putdown. One makes a clown of oneself before anyone else does it. Nationally. Simon is as American as surly waiters and...

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