Jewish Comedy: A Serious History

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, Oct 31, 2017 - Social Science - 416 pages

Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award

“Dauber deftly surveys the whole recorded history of Jewish humour.” —Economist

In a major work of scholarship that explores the funny side of some very serious business (and vice versa), Jeremy Dauber examines the origins of Jewish comedy and its development from biblical times to the age of Twitter. Organizing Jewish comedy into “seven strands”—including the satirical, the witty, and the vulgar—he traces the ways Jewish comedy has mirrored, and sometimes even shaped, the course of Jewish history. Dauber also explores the classic works of such masters of Jewish comedy as Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Babel, Franz Kafka, the Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, Joan Rivers, Philip Roth, Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart, and Larry David, among many others.


What people are saying - Write a review

Jewish Comedy: A Serious History

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Yiddish expert Dauber pulls off the impressive feat of discussing humor without sucking the life out of it in this insightful and funny analysis of Jewish humor. He identifies seven strands of Jewish ... Read full review


A Joke Two Definitions Seven Themes Four Warnings
Whats So Funny About AntiSemitism?
NotSoNice Jewish Doctors
The Wit of the Jews
A View from the Bottom
The Divine Comedy
The Tale of the Folk
Jewish ComedyHold the Jewishness

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2017)

Jeremy Dauber is the Atran Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture at Columbia University. He is the author of several books on Jewish literature, including In the Demon’s Bedroom: Yiddish Literature and the Early Modern, Antonio’s Devils: Writers of the Jewish Enlightenment and the Birth of Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literature, and The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem, which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. He lives in New York City.

Bibliographic information