Let’s Meet Jewish Person Of The Week – Brian Karpas

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Let’s Meet Jewish Person Of The Week – Brian Karpas

Where did you grow up?

I was born and fed in Houston, TX

Tell us more about how you identify and your style?

I identify as queer/non binary. I like to think of myself as a vintage millennial. Everything I love and honestly am interested revolves more around everything between the 40s-70s, but my way of thinking is very millennial. This deeply plays into my style of dress as well I love dressing as retro as possible and mixing modern elements into what I wear. 

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What did you do Jewish growing up?

I did a lot of Jewish things growing up. I went to all Jewish schools till I went to college and I spent summers going to Camp Young Judaea in Wimberley, TX.  My world was all Jewish all the time…until the age of 19!

Where did you go to school?

I went to Columbia college for comedy writing.

What do you do for work?

I work in retail at a plus size store Eloquii.

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What do you do for fun/to relax?

For fun I love to attend drag shows.  I have many friends who do the drag and Chicago’s drag scene is amazing, so it is always a good time. And to relax I loveeee to listen to my records, put a face mask on, and screen my moms calls. Love ya mom! 

What do you do Jewish now?

Honestly, the most Jewish thing I do now is stand up. It is the space where I own my Jewish identity the most. 

What is your favorite way to spend shabbat?

When I am home visiting family I celebrate Shabbat with them and it is usually a lot of fun with all of us eating and talking. Eat and Talk: that’s what we Karpas and Schechter’s do best.

Top three things on your Chicago bucket list?

ONE GOAL: To marry a cubs player and then divorce him and take him for everything he owns…

What is your favorite Jewish Chicago event?

Oy to the World has been my a favorite Jewish event. It is a fabulous stand up show on Christmas Eve conissting of all Jewish comedians hosted by Le Aboav and Reena Calm. What else do you have to do on Christmas Eve anyway? There is Chinese Food. 

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Do you consider yourself a Jewish comedian or a comedian who is Jewish?

I would say I am more a comedian who is Jewish. My sets are typically not centered on being Jewish, but I do own my Jewish identity and usually do make sure people know I’m Jewish, cause I am proud to be of the religion Elizabeth Taylor converted to.  

Also, my comedy is a lot of me just running my mouth. I go up and just share what goes through my head, or a some story or experience I’ve had. I do not prepare a ton, but I will do a bullet point list what I want to talk about, look over it the day of, and go. 

How did you get into comedy?

I got into comedy when an acting teacher at Columbia told me I should try it because she liked my comedic timing and my ability to “BS with confidence.” A friend of mine asked me if I wanted to do stand up at a show she was doing and I’ve been doing it since. It will be four years this January. I really love doing stand up because it is where I feel most safe. 


Now Complete the Phrase: When the Tribe Gathers…We Talk & Eat


More from Brian!



The Inexperienced Experience Podcast


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Rebecca Schwab

Rebecca Schwab

Rebecca creates best practices and executes marketing campaigns for Jewish organizations who are trying to reach the next generation of the Jewish community - specifically Millennials and Gen Z - through digital marketing, social media, online and in-person events.