The New York Times (May 20) carried a review on a revue, “Old Jews telling jokes”, currently being performed at the Westside Theater, under the title “Such a tradition of humor, and this is only a revue?”.
I was unable to get the idea of its beginning line:
Every Jewish mother will die, a fact many are not exactly famous for playing down, but the Jewish-mother joke will live forever.
What is the plain English for “a fact many are not exactly famous for playing down,” which looks to me somewhat winding?
The associated question :
The beginning block of the article ends up with the following line;
"The show, whose title has as firm a grasp on its audience’s desire as “Girls gone wild,” is a winning concept executed deftly with affection. Would it kill you to pay a visit? "
I guess “Would it kill you to pay a visit” simply means “Why don’t you try to pay a visit.”
Is “Would it kill you to do something” a popular phrase to substitute for recommending somebody to do something? Does it sound awkward or over-the-top if I say to my colleague “Would it kill you to have a drink,” instead of saying “Let’s have a drink” after work?”