Cel­e­brate Jew­ish Book Month with #30days30authors! JBC invit­ed an author to share thoughts on #Jew­Lit for each day of Jew­ish Book Month. Watch, read, enjoy, and dis­cov­er! 

This week, we are fea­tur­ing the final­ists and win­ner of the Natan Book Award at Jew­ish Book Coun­cil

Today, Jere­my Dauber, the author of Jew­ish Com­e­dy: A Seri­ous His­to­ry, shares the top ten punch­lines to Jew­ish jokes. 

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 a pro­fes­sor of Jew­ish lit­er­a­ture and Amer­i­can stud­ies at Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty. His books include Jew­ish Com­e­dy and The Worlds of Sholem Ale­ichem, both final­ists for the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award, and, most recent­ly, Amer­i­can Comics: A His­to­ry. He lives in New York City.