Dudu Topaz

Was a multifaceted Israeli comedian, actor, playwright, poet, radio broadcaster, and television host. He was awarded the prestigious Kinnor David Award and was often referred to in the Israeli media as "The King of Entertainment" due to his extensive success as a host of popular entertainment programs. Tragically, his life took a dark turn when he was arrested under suspicion of orchestrating violent acts against various media figures.


Dudu Topaz was born as David Goldinberg in Haifa to Lili and Eliyahu Goldinberg. His father was a cantor, actor, and theater director. During his military service, Topaz was part of the entertainment crew for the IDF's Nahal entertainment troupe and sang the song "Noah Was a Righteous Man" as the lead vocalist. After his military service, he pursued studies in acting at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in London.

Early Career

Topaz embarked on his career in theater at the Haifa Theater while simultaneously performing in comedy shows across Israel. In the 1970s, he became a prominent figure on the popular radio show "Latzon Nofel Al Latzon," alongside comedians such as Dudu Dotan, Yoel Rifael, Delit Ormian, Avshalom Kor, and others.

His first foray into television was as an English teacher on the educational television program "Everyman's English, English Lessons with Dudu Topaz" in 1969, directed by Yossi Halevi. He also contributed to the scripts for the series "Rega Im Duduli." In the early 1970s, Topaz started hosting television entertainment programs on Channel 1, and among his most successful shows was "Play It," for which he won the Kinnor David Award.

Topaz also participated in three skits related to "Play It," including one that was filmed for a movie by Yehuda Barkan, in which mishaps occurred during the show's recording, an episode in the series "Zehu Ze!" ("That's It!"), and a special performance called "Peelitat Peh" ("Mouth Escape"), where Topaz showcased jokes that were supposedly too risqué to be told during the regular program.

Subsequently, Topaz hosted several other television programs, including "Tze Meze," "Tan Ko," "Chapes Te'fips," and the dating show "Zeh Ma Yesh" ("What's Going On"). He also hosted the "Queen of Beauty" competition.

Film Appearances

As an actor, Topaz appeared in the 1972 film "Jacko and the Chickens," directed by Paul Smith, and in the 1985 film "New York Ahavah" ("New York Love"), directed by Amos Kollek. In 1988, he played the lead role in the film "Tel Aviv-Los Angeles" as Modhi Gazit. Topaz wrote the screenplay, which contained autobiographical elements, reflecting his ambition to become a successful entertainer in Israel and beyond.

Political Controversy

On June 27, 1981, after the 10th Knesset elections, Topaz addressed the election gathering in Malchei Yisrael Square, where he made controversial remarks. He criticized the opposition Likud party, referring to its members as "chachchachim" (a derogatory term). This ignited a fiery response from Menachem Begin, the leader of Likud, who condemned Topaz's statement. Begin's speech was aimed at rallying support from the Sephardic Jewish population, which helped influence the election outcome. Following this incident, Topaz was temporarily removed from Channel 1 and returned to television hosting after a three-year hiatus.

"Peelitat Peh" and Other Solo Shows

In 1984, after the storm had settled, Topaz launched a comedy show called "Peelitat Peh." It quickly gained popularity with the audience and generated high viewership. Some segments of the show featured Topaz interacting with ordinary people, often with a prominent Moroccan accent. One skit focused on language problems in Hebrew, with a humorous twist.

One of the most memorable sketches was "A Family on a Trip," written by Menachem Zilberman. It included the famous line: "Only Moshe wanted oranges, I told him, 'What's wrong with you, Moshe?'" and the phrase "Can't you throw garbage out of the window like civilized people?!" This sketch was widely circulated on radio and quoted in various contexts, including the movie "A Matter of Luck."

In addition to Zilberman, Yoel Rifael, and Amnon Dankner contributed to writing the sketches for Topaz. The show was accompanied by satirical songs like "A Letter from Lebanon" (to the tune of Jacques Brel's song), parodies of Ariel Sharon and other public figures who were supposedly part of the "Play It" show, and more.

Another solo show that Topaz hosted was titled "Bli Heshbon" ("Without Calculation"). Launched in January 1987, it featured additional satirical sketches on topics such as counterfeit dollars and future news about the state. It also continued the story of Moshe and the oranges, known as "A Family in a Hotel." Although successful, it did not reach the same heights as "Peelitat Peh."

Another solo show, "Zura Lanu" ("We've Got a Problem"), explored issues faced by the public and allowed listeners to call in and discuss their experiences and problems.

Later Career and Radio Programs

In June 1993, Topaz hosted a radio program called "Abba Sheli Miyuchad" ("My Special Father") on Kol Israel Radio. This program, produced as a tribute to his father, Eliyahu Goldinberg, who had passed away 15 years earlier, featured special guests who had accompanied his father throughout his life. Guests included his younger son, Miki Goldinberg, as well as actors Molik Segal, Shmulik Azmon, Yossi Yadin, Yitzhak Artzi, Moshe Timor, and more.

Topaz also hosted the radio program "Tziforei Layla M'sochchat" ("Night Birds Chatting"), where listeners could call in to discuss their experiences and problems.

Dudu Topaz's career was marked by significant achievements and controversies, showcasing his talent and impact on Israeli entertainment.

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