Naimah Hassan and Steve Epstein are two quirky members of the New York City comedy scene that happen to tickle our funny bones. Together in matrimony and as a comedic powerhouse for over 25 years, their love for each other is palpable within the first thirty seconds of listening to any of their broadcasts. Which leads us to their radio show, “She’s Black, He’s Jewish, They’re Married, Oy Vey!” on BreakThru Radio. The two attack topics that range from witty to taboo in a unique way, and you can hear it for free whenever you want! But don’t forget to check them out when you’re in NYC, as they frequent various stand up clubs with their material. Read on for a short but sweet interview with a couple that has been spreading laughter across Manhattan—and into homes across the US—for as long as they have been together!
Serial Optimist: Please, introduce yourselves to our readers.
Naimah Hassan & Steve Epstein: Naimah Hassan is from Port Chester, NY. Steve Epstein is from Brooklyn, NY.
SO: It looks like we enjoy an element of mystery, no? Tell us a little bit about your background.
Hassan & Epstein: We met when Hassan tried to get into Sweet Basil without paying the cover charge. I was working the door at this great NYC jazz club called Sweet Basil.
SO: What is it that drew you both to that Sweet Basil?
Epstein: Hassan felt being black and coming to a jazz club should mean that she doesn’t pay the cover charge. “It’s black peoples’ music after all.” Hassan argued. I charged her and we soon started hanging out and the rest is history.
SO: Was it love at first sight, or did it take you a while to get along?
Hassan: It took a while for the romance to get going although I knew that I was going to get this red head. I’ve been in love with red heads since I was a little girl. On January 9th 1988 my dream came true.
SO: New York can be both a ridiculous and fun place to call home. How did you two go about deciding exactly where to live?
Hassan: We live in our favorite neighborhood in the world, Greenwich Village. When we first moved in we lived on top of a Chinese take-out restaurant and our apartment always smelled like Chinese food. Epstein was so happy, he’s Jewish. Now the Chinese restaurant is gone and there’s a Vegan-Pan Asian beneath us.
SO: So you outstayed the Chinese restaurant! Impressive! You two have been doing comedy for quite a while now, and we are sure you have met a lot of very spunky and hilarious personalities. Who is your favorite person that you’ve met in your comedy days and why?
Hassan & Epstein: Joan Rivers. We were guests on her radio show and her producer warned us that if she didn’t think we were funny, we would be off the show in two minutes. We got to stay the entire show and she became our fan and friend.
SO: That’s awesome! Joan is quite the character! How did you two get started with your BreakThru Radio Comedy Hour, “She’s Black, He’s Jewish, They’re Married, Oy Vey”?
Hassan & Epstein: Jezz Herkin (of BreakThru Radio) got our tape to Jake and the rest is history.
SO: What has been your favorite experience with “She’s Black, He’s Jewish, They’re Married, Oy Vey”?
Hassan & Epstein: We love doing the live show to diverse audiences and having our audience experience something new and exciting. Our mission is for people to laugh, have a great time, tell people they know and start the circle again.
SO: You guys tackle a lot of touchy subjects in a strikingly funny way on your show. What would be the most important advice you would give to anyone, anywhere, about anything?
Hassan & Epstein: Most important advice: Everybody deserves to cum! For the politically correct: Love thy neighbor as thyself.
SO: That’s some special advice! What do you two look forward to in your comedic future? Any big plans or silly things you’d like to do together?
Hassan & Epstein: We want an HBO special, our film to be released and a success, and a weekly show at BTR (BreakThru Radio).
SO: Sounds like you’re making those dreams come true as we speak! One final question for you two lovebirds: What do you think is underappreciated in the world?
Hassan & Epstein: Masturbation! It’s the friend that’s always there. It doesn’t care what you look like, smell like, or if you’re pretty, hairy or bald. It’s consistent, doesn’t judge you. It allows you to reduce stress without having to get dressed. It’s wonderful for women. If you find out what works for you, you can do it at your job. Just cross your legs and rock! (Ladies, men can’t do that…ha..ha!)
SO Note: For more information and show times, check out theblackandthejew.com. Tell them Serial Optimist sent you!