The Weekly Yiderati: Damn It Feels Good To Be A Funny Jewish Writer

Is anthology of funny American writings the most Jewish book of the year? Read More

By / September 15, 2011
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Everybody knows that there are a number of instances when “Jewish” precedes the words “comedian” and “writer.”  There have been a lot of funny Jews.  We’re good at a lot of things, but writing and making people laugh are two that we seem to be most adept at, and seems to get us the least amount of flack.  Lenny Bruce as a funny Jew seems to go over better than the picture of the Jewish banker, or the Jewish guy who supposedly controls the media.  That’s probably why it makes sense that Andy Borowitz–a Jew who’s equal parts smart and funny–was the man put in charge of putting together The 50 Funniest American Writers for the folks at the Library of America.  The book is stuffed to the brim with Jewish writers like Philip Roth, Sloane Crosley, and Calvin Trillen, and even includes the classic National Lampoon graphic that asks “Are Jews White People?”  and then answers “Technically, yes, but…….”

Sure, it’s an anthology of writings from the last 150 years, but by celebrating two of the best things about Jewish culture in one compact package,  The 50 Funniest American Writers might be the most Jewish book of the year