The Humor Corner

Greetings & a joke from congregation members:


Jewish Comedy. Seriously.

Jewish Humor. What is it?  A joke? A story? A statement of a problem? An approach to solving a problem? How do YOU, reader, describe Jewish Humor?

Steve Allen referred to American comedy in 1981 as “a sort of Jewish cottage industry,” putting Jewish participation in the field approaching 80%.

Some, though by no means all, of the approaches advanced those efforts  –  arguments focusing on language, on sensibility, on history are hinted at above.

But Jewish comedy tends to resist any single explanation. So, at your next gathering, discuss Jewish Humor or is it Jewish comedy? Hmm.

“All comedy has humor, but not all humor is comedy.”

Then, be sure to check back next month for more Jewish Comedy. Seriously.

Excerpted from the book Jewish Comedy by Jeremy Dauber

    Humor Corner - September 2020

    A Rabbi is walking slowly out of a Schul in New York when a gust of wind blows his hat down the street. He is an old man with a cane and can’t walk fast enough to catch his hat. Across the street a man sees what has happened and rushes out to grab his hat and returns it to the Rabbi. “I don’t think I would have been able to catch my hat.” The Rabbi says. “Thank you very much.” The Rabbi places his hand on the man’s shoulder and says, “May God bless you.”

    The young man thinks to himself, “I’ve been blessed by the Rabbi. This must be my lucky day.”  Soon he goes to the racetrack and in the first race he sees there is a horse named Stetson at 20 to 1.

    He bets $50 and sure enough the horse comes I first. In the 2nd race he sees a horse named Fedora at 30 to 1, so he bets it all and this horse comes in first also. Finally, at the end of the day he returns home to his wife who asks him where he’s been. He explains how he caught the Rabbis’ hat and was blessed by him and went to the track and started winning on horses that had a hat in their names.

    “So where is the money?” she says. “I lost it all in the 9th race. I bet on a horse named Chateau and it lost.” “you fool!” she said. "Chateau is a house. Chapeau is a hat.”

    “It does not matter,” he said, ’the winner was some Japanese horse named Yamulka.”


    Humour Corner (at times, one must be a Brit) August, 2020

    “To attract men, I wear a perfume called New Car Interior.”

    Rita Rudner

    “My friends tell me I have an intimacy problem. But they don’t really know me.”

    Gary Shandling

    My grandfather always said, "Don't watch your money; watch your health." So, one day while I was watching my health, someone stole my money. It was my grandfather.

    Jackie Mason

    A Jewish grandmother is watching her grandchild playing on the beach when a huge wave comes and takes him out to sea. She pleads, "please God, save my only grandson. I beg of you, bring him back." And a big wave comes and washes the boy back onto the beach, good as new. She looks up to heaven and says: "He had a hat!"

    Myron Cohen

    A car hits a Jewish man. The paramedic rushes over and says, "Are you comfortable?" The guy says: "I make a good living."

    Henny Youngman

    “I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out”.

    Rodney Dangerfield

    “TV commercials now show you how detergents take out bloodstains, a pretty violent image there. I think if you've got a T-shirt with a bloodstain all over it, maybe laundry isn't your biggest problem.”

    Jerry Seinfeld

    And to get ready for the High Holy Days

    A guy has a parrot that can sing and speak beautifully. He takes it to the synagogue on Rosh Hashanah and makes a wager that the bird can conduct the High Holiday service better than the temple’s cantor. When the big moment comes, though, the parrot is silent. The guy is outraged. He takes the bird home and is about to kill it when the bird finally speaks: "Schmuck! Think of the odds we’ll get on Yom Kippur!"

    Some of the above were compiled by Don Steinberg for GQ Magazine June 1999


    The Humor Corner - June/July 2020

    No Direction Home

    Moishe was driving home when his wife called. "Honey, are you on the turnpike?
    "Well be careful! I just heard on the radio that some maniac is driving in the wrong direction."
    --"It's not just one maniac. It's hundreds of them!"

    When your memory goes, forget it!

    • Men forget everything; women remember everything. That' why men need instant replay in sports.
      --They've already forgotten what's happened.
      - Rita Rudner
    • A long married couple are having dinner at the home of their good friends. When the meal has ended and the wives get up to clear the dishes, the men remain at the table and continue talking."I meant to tell you," says the host, "that we went to a terrific new restaurant on Thursday. I think you'll love it.
      --"Great. What's it called?"Damn, now I'm blanking. Help me out here. What's the name of that red flower?""A poppy?"
      "No, the other one"

      "A tulip?"
      "No - you know the one with thorns."

      "A rose!"
      "Thank you." Turning toward the kitchen, he yells, "Rose! What's the name of that restaurant?"


    • I don't' deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either.
      - Jack Benny
    • My parents didn't want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that's the law.
      - Jerry Seinfeld
    • I told my doctor I broke my leg in two places. He told me to quit going to those places.
      -Henny Youngman

    Something to Sneeze At

    "It's just a bad cold," the doctor said. "As you know, there's no cure for that. You'll just have to wait it out for a few days."

    --"But it's making me miserable. There must be something you can do.

    Well you could go home and take a hot bath. Then open all the windows and stand for awhile in the cold air."

    -"But wouldn't I get pneumonia?"

    "You might. But for that we have a cure."


    The Humor Corner - March 2020

    Humor Corner strays a bit this month to keep readers' minds fresh.
    Leo Rosten's Treasury of Jewish Quotations, published 1972, is a dazzling 4,352 Proverbs, Folk Sayings, Witticisms, Insights, Maxims and Moralisms - collected over 58 years.They are garnished with irony, paradox, and truth. Enjoy. Learn. Discuss..
    "I have tried to include in this book, only those sayings that will make you laugh, smile, or think."

    Leo Rosten
    "I never met a man in whom I failed to recognize some quality superior to myself if he was older, I said he has done more good than I; if he was younger, I said he has sinned less; if richer, I said he has given more to charity; if poorer, I said he has suffered more; if wiser, I paid honor to his wisdom; if not wiser, I judged his faults less severely. Take this to heart my son"
    The Testament of Judah ben Jehiel Asher (1250-1327


    Only one type of worry is correct; to worry because you worry too much.

    Riches bring anxiety; wisdom gives peace of mind.
    All night, all cows look black.
    Men see what we wear, not what we eat.
    A goat has a  beard- but that does not make it a rabbi.
    A homely patch is prettier than a beautiful hole.
    If velvet and silk hang in your closet, you can step out in rags
    When you have a new coat hanging on the wall, your old one does not feel ashamed.
    A man looks to you the way you look at him.

    Humor Corner - January 2020

    Joey Bishop's quip:
    Back in 1942, I said, "Mama, I'm going into the Army."

    And she told me, "All right, but don't come home late."

    A rabbi said to six-year old Bobby: "So your mother says your prayers for you each night. Very commendable. What does she say?"

    And Bobby replied: "Thank God he's in bed."


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