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Publisher's Summary

In a major work of scholarship both erudite and very funny, Jeremy Dauber traces the origins of Jewish comedy and its development from Biblical times to the age of Twitter.

Organizing his book thematically into what he calls the seven strands of Jewish comedy - including the satirical, the witty, and the vulgar - Dauber explores the ways Jewish comedy has dealt with persecution, assimilation, and diaspora through the ages. He explains the rise and fall of popular comic archetypes such as the Jewish mother, the JAP, and the schlemiel and schlimazel. And he explores an enormous range of comic masterpieces, from the Book of Esther, Talmudic rabbi jokes, Yiddish satires, Borscht Belt skits, Seinfeld, and Curb Your Enthusiasm to the work of such masters as Sholem Aleichem, Franz Kafka, the Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, Joan Rivers, Philip Roth, Sarah Silverman, and Jon Stewart.

©2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
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  • GoingGoingGone...
  • 2017-12-13

My favorite book!

And that’s saying something, because I really love books.

The author loves his subject, and his People. You can truly sense it. He brings to us the benefit of a vast Jewish literacy as manifest in the Book of Genesis, the Book of Esther, the Talmud, Jewish secular literature, all of which accompanied us through Diasporas and to our sovereignty in Israel. The scope is vast, and yet he pulls it all together with skill with sensitivity and authenticity. I highly recommend this not only as a history of Jewish comedy, but also as a history of Jewish life and the values that frequently conflict in Jewish living. It is a history less of Jewish Comedy than it is of Jewish Laughter.

8 people found this helpful

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  • supermantwo
  • 2020-08-31

Not funny

I was expecting a book of Jewish jokes. Got a intellectual treatise on Jewish humor instead.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Brian
  • 2020-01-20

How Do You Spoil A Joke?

Explain it.

The book is fine for what it is. What it is, is more of a textbook-like history and background of Jewish humor. It explains context and why certain jokes were created and explains the humor of the times in which the jokes were created. And, yes, there's quite a bit of "this is funny because. . . ." Nice for learning, but for entertainment? Meh.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Property Guy
  • 2017-12-24

Really makes you think about the origins of comedy

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. There were connections made with ancient comedy that put several theological thoughts in a completely different light. It really makes you think about all that has come before as the basis of Jewish Comedy.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Mr. Dauber has a fabulous understanding of the medium and it's history. The tone is lighthearted, but very intellectually stimulating.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Hans Rigelman
  • 2020-11-09

One of the Best Books on Jewish Humor - Seriously!

I love Jewish humor. I would have cried when Seinfeld went off the air, but I'm okay with reruns. As an author Dauber does a great job covering the Biblical origins of humor rooted in the suffering of the Jews at the hands of their enemies. As a narrator he has just the right inflection for his joke telling. I also picked up on some Yiddish - not bad for a goy.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Moud Barthez
  • 2021-10-05

Light and delight

A nice short delight book, cracked me multiple times and conveyed itself messages and historical information pleasantly.
I liked this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chavie Fiszer
  • 2021-08-20

Interesting but incomplete

Enjoyable and engaging book, excellent performance. However there should’ve been a subtitle: Jewish comedy in AMERICA. Comedy in Israel gets only a cursory look— examining the differences and similarities between comedy in the Jewish homeland and the diaspora would’ve added a fascinating dimension to this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Fr. S.
  • 2021-01-23

Fine reflections

Many good insights into humor in general and specifically to the Jewish experience. Good listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ruth gilboa
  • 2018-12-06

Not funny!

Disappointing!
Author/reader boring!!!
Original material funny but reader ruins it all every time. Would have tomatoes and eggs thrown at him at any comedy shows
!

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  • BfloBen
  • 2022-04-18

Ok book on Jewish humor marred by inept reading

This guy-- reading lessons he could use.... YES.. verbal tics... two prominent.. At the end of many sentences he lowers his voice....which I find annoying. Didn't anyone tell him he was dong it? The other is that he does not vary his speech patterns which, to this listener, is tedious to the ears. Another minor defect is that his selection of humor includes too many oft repeated jokes. Good news-- this item from the Plus Catalog is worth every penny I didn't pay for it.