My Jewish Learning

Jewish Humor Quiz

Jews have long used humor as a tool for self-ridicule, fighting anti-Semitism, and even passing down traditions. And in the past few decades Jewish humor has become significant in mainstream popular culture. How much do you know about Jewish humor?



Question 1. Which of these early entertainers performed in blackface as a vital part of his or her act?
 Al Jolson
 Fanny Brice
 George Burns
 Groucho Marx

 

Question 2. Which of these is the first biblical character to laugh?
 Adam
 Eve
 Abraham
 Sarah

 

Question 3. Who played the interviewer in the sketch "The Two Thousand Year Old Man?"
 Sid Caesar
 Mel Brooks
 Carl Reiner
 Steve Allen

 

Question 4. Where and when did Jewish humor begin as a genre?
 In the shtetls, where Yiddish folk tales found humor in the often-difficult everyday lives of the people in 19th-century Eastern Europe
 In the desert, while the Jews were wandering for 40 years; they had to find some way to keep themselves entertained
 At the turn of the 20th century, as Jewish comedians poked fun at the immigrant experience and the frustrations Jews faced trying to assimilate into American society
 As Jewish peddlers travelled on the frontier, they entertained themselves and their customers by telling jokes
 In the mid-20th century, as radio shows and comedy skits became more popular

 

Question 5. Many of which characters' sketches on Sesame Street are adaptations of traditional Jewish jokes?
 Ernie and Bert
 Big Bird and Snuffy
 Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy
 Big Bird and Count von Count
 Cookie Monster and Elmo

 

Question 6. What was Mel Brooks's first box office success?
 Robin Hood, Men in Tights
 Blazing Saddles
 History of the World, Part I
 Young Frankenstein
 To Be, or Not to Be

 

Question 7. Fanny Brice rose to stardom despite being unable to
 Sing
 Dance
 Speak Yiddish
 Act

 

Question 8. Which of these themes is commonly addressed in Jewish humor?
 Anti-Semitism
 Poverty
 The immigrant experience
 Neurotics on New York's Upper West Side
 All of these

 

Question 9. For which TV show was Sid Caesar renown?
 You Bet Your Life
 Your Show of Shows
 M*A*S*H
 The Goldbergs

 

Question 10. Which Jewish writer produced classics of bittersweet humor?
 Mendele Mokher Seforim
 Sholem Aleichem
 I.L. Peretz
 All of these