Jonathan Goldstein

A friend of mine once observed of the comedian Jackie Mason that the goys love him, but he’s just too Jewish for the Jews. I feel that way about Jonathan Goldstein, whose comic phone-conversation show, “Wiretap” (heard locally on KUOW on Thursday nights), presents such a surfeit of kvetching, bickering, and mannered disputative stuttering that I can hardly bear it. Still, every once in a while the guy executes a conceit so brilliantly (such as the dueling answering-machine messages between a feuding Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, performed with David Rakoff) that I have to tune in again. Among Goldstein’s most reliably excellent motifs are his “dramatized” Old Testament stories, which have been heard on “This American Life” (where he was a producer) as well as his own show. Consistently hilarious, touching, and even thought-provoking, they’ve now they’ve been collected into a book, Ladies and Gentleman, The Bible! (Penguin, $15). If ever there were a writer to go hear for the sake of his delivery, Goldstein is one. Kvetching on the printed page just isn’t the same. MARK D. FEFER

Mon., April 13, 7 p.m., 2009

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