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


Question 3. Which of these is the first biblical character to laugh?


Question 4. Fanny Brice rose to stardom despite being unable to
 Speak Yiddish


Question 5. A comedy trend of the '90s called "sick humor" owes its inspiration to whom?
 Stephen Colbert
 Lenny Bruce
 Mel Brooks
 Mort Stahl
 Jon Stewart


Question 6. Where was Lenny Bruce's "Jewish and Goyish" routine first published?
 MAD Magazine
 The New Yorker
 The New York Times


Question 7. The Marx brothers--Julius, Adolph, and Leonard--were renamed
 Gummo, Zeppo, and Jimbo
 Athos, Porthos, and Aramis
 Greg, Peter, and Bobby
 Moe, Larry, and Curly
 Groucho, Harpo, and Chico


Question 8. 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 9. What year did Seinfeld premiere?
 None of the above


Question 10. What was The Goldbergs?
 A humorous work of fiction, written first in Yiddish
 The original name of All in the Family
 A radio show about a Jewish family, which later became a television show
 The most popular vaudeville show in history