Old Jews Telling Jokes: 5,000 Years of Funny Bits and Not-So-Kosher Laughs
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A grasshopper walked into a bar and ordered a drink.
The bartender looked at him and said, “You know we have a drink named after you?”
The grasshopper replied, “You have a drink named Stanley?”
Schtick happens. For five thousand years, God’s chosen people have cornered the market on knee-slappers, zingers, and knock-knock jokes. Now Old Jews Telling Jokes mines mothers, fathers, bubbies, and zaydes for comic gelt. What we get are jokes that are funnier than a pie in the punim: Abie and Becky jokes; hilarious rabbi, doctor, and mohel tales; and those bits just for Mom (Q: What’s the difference between a Jewish mother and a Rottweiler? A: Eventually a Rottweiler will let go!). Some are just naughty and some are downright bawdy—but either way you’ll laugh till you plotz. With Borscht Belt gags from Brooklyn to Bel Air to Boca, Old Jews Telling Jokes is like chicken soup for your funny bone. I mean, would it kill you to laugh a little?
a dense, delicious, sphere of, well, not-bread. They bob in the chicken soup, mingling with the little puddles of fat, the mushy carrots, and the limp stalks of dill—absorbing it all gently into their not-breadness. Why do I believe the matzo ball is the quintessence of Jewish food? Jews take great pride in divining rules from the scripture and then creating clever and ingenious ways to circumvent these rules. The matzo ball symbolizes that quality in the form of a meal. On Passover it is
me some duct tape.” “What’re you gonna do with that duct tape?” “I’m gonna catch me some ducks.” The old man says, “Oh, you danged fool! You can’t catch no ducks with duct tape!” Lo and behold, later that afternoon, that kid comes up the hill dragging a roll of duct tape. There’s a bunch of ducks stuck to it. Next morning, the kid comes down the hill, carrying something in his hand. The old man says, “Hey, kid. What’ve you got there?” “I got me some pussy willow.” The old man says, “Hang
room is full of men and women, the men wearing tuxedos, the women properly attired for such an august event. Dr. Drobkin approaches the dais, puts his notes on the lectern as he’s about to give the talk, and suddenly the papers all slide to the floor. He bends over to pick them up, and as he does, his tuches is against the microphone, and at the very wrong moment, lets one ride that reverberates throughout the room, magnified by the microphone. Somehow he gains his composure and delivers his
and, especially, complaining that their children don’t call enough. The Jews certainly did not invent plastic surgery. Apparently the Indians were performing it as early as a thousand years ago. Whatever. The Chinese invented spaghetti but you wouldn’t ask for a Bolognese in Beijing. Plastic surgery is endemic to all contemporary American life, and isn’t limited to any particular ethnic group, but the Jews, as is their wont, have put their own spin on it. When elective cosmetic surgery starting
father and a singer mom. Since then, in forty years of global news work, he has covered many of the major stories and personalities of our times. He has written for Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and the Huffington Post, and as an op-ed columnist for the New York Daily News. A Meeting with the Pope In the Vatican in the sixteenth century, one of the cardinals has borrowed an enormous amount of money from the Jewish banker. And he can’t pay it back. So he goes to the pope and he says,