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. 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 3. 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 4. 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 5. Which of these people was not a Marx Brother?
 Zeppo
 Harpo
 Chico
 Frenchy
 Gummo

 

Question 6. 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 7. Who loosely portrayed Fanny Brice in the film Funny Girl?
 Lily Tomlin
 Edith Ann
 Barbra Streisand
 Meryl Streep
 Goldie Hawn

 

Question 8. True or false: Fanny Brice, an early star of the Ziegfield Follies, only performed in Yiddish.
 True
 False

 

Question 9. 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 10. What contemporary Jewish comedian made the video "The Great Schlep?"
 Adam Sandler
 Seth Rogen
 Jackie Mason
 Sarah Silverman