In director Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors," Alan Alda, who plays a somewhat sleazy television producer, opines that "comedy is tragedy plus time." In the case of the war in the Persian Gulf, it seems, that prescribed period of reflection took almost no time at all.

Only 48 hours had passed since Operation Desert Shield turned into a raging Storm when Richard Jeni took the stage of the main showroom at the Sands Hotel in Atlantic City. It was to be his first show after the conflict started and he prepared a few jokes about the war.