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Jeremy Dauber’s Top 10 Punchlines to Jewish Jokes
Okay, these aren’t necessarily my favorite Jewish jokes. And they’re not even necessarily the funniest Jewish jokes out there, or the ones that are the most illustrative of Jewish humor through the ages. (You’ll find lots more of those in my new book, Jewish Comedy: A Serious History, on sale now.) And even without giving you the whole thing, I’m fairly sure there’ll be someone out there who suggests that I’m telling them wrong. But these are ten goodies, that’s for sure — perfect for every bar or bat mitzvah, and commonly known enough that if you happen not to know a few of them, you can ask a well-meaning grandfather or great-aunt and they’ll be happy to tell them to you.
- 10. “That’s a nickel fan. With a penny fan, you hold it still and wave your head from side to side.”
- 9. “Who’s he gonna tell?”
- 8. “Vell, vot time is it?”
- 7. “I make a living.”
- 6. “For my health, nothing is too expensive.”
- 5. “Religion? My good man, I am a goy.”
- 4. “As a soldier, he was unknown. But as a furrier, he was famous.”
- 3. “What’s the matter, you didn’t like the other tie?”
- 2. “Sheldon, enough is enough.”
- 1. “He had a hat.”
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 a biography of Sholem Aleichem that was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. He lives in New York City.