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. What was the Borscht Belt?
 A Jewish comedy school in Russia
 An informal gang of Jewish comedians
 A famed restaurant theatre
 An area with several summertime resorts outside New York City

 

Question 2. Fanny Brice rose to stardom despite being unable to
 Sing
 Dance
 Speak Yiddish
 Act

 

Question 3. What is Chelm?
 An approach to Jewish humor that is particularly cynical
 A mythical village populated, according to Jewish folklore, by fools
 A nickname that was given to particularly funny people in the shtetl
 A short film created by Jerry Seinfeld

 

Question 4. Which of these is the first biblical character to laugh?
 Adam
 Eve
 Abraham
 Sarah

 

Question 5. According to Joan Rivers, what would've been the best way for her to deal with her husband's suicide?
 To talk about it onstage
 To withdraw from acting for good
 To write
 To say kaddish

 

Question 6. Which of these is an example of Jewish humor in the Middle Ages?
 The few deliberately funny passages of the Shulhan Arukh
 The "laughing cure" used to ward off the Black Plague
 Purim plays known as shpiels
 All of these

 

Question 7. 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 8. Which of these comedians is NOT Jewish?
 Roseanne Barr
 Jerry Seinfeld
 Bob Newhart
 Jon Stewart

 

Question 9. True or false: Humor is one of the hallmarks of Yiddish literature.
 True
 False

 

Question 10. A comedy trend of the '90s called "sick humor" owes its inspiration to whom?
 Stephen Colbert
 Lenny Bruce
 Mel Brooks
 Mort Stahl
 Jon Stewart