In Zero Hour, the bravura one-man show in which Jim Brochu inhabits the ample person of the famed comedian Zero Mostel, the actions of the House Un-American Activities Committee are presented as a second Holocaust: a holocaust of the Jewish mind to complete the unfinished holocaust of the Jewish body. The comparison is as grotesque as it is morally illiterate, but then Zero Mostel was not famous for the subtlety of his opinions (or performances, for that matter) and neither is the fictional Mostel. Hold onto your dialectical materialism for this one: he bases his thesis that the real target of huac was not the Communists but the Jews on the fact that Lucille Ball got off easy.

“She could have called her show I Love Lenin,” Mostel spits, and still she would not have risked losing her place as America’s sweetheart. Never mind the fact that the great villain of the huac drama was Alger Hiss, waspier than the...

 

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