Press for Jewish Comedy: A Serious History

Publishers Weekly Review
“Humor has been a central part of Jewish identity since biblical times, according to Jeremy Dauber, professor of Yiddish language, literature, and culture in the Department of Germanic Languages at Columbia University. His book, Jewish Comedy: A Serious History, (W.W. Norton, Oct.), analyzes the wide range of Jewish humor—from jokes developed in response to anti-Semitism, to vulgar ones." — Publishers Weekly
“[An] erudite and funny work of scholarship.” — Publishers Weekly
“Dauber pulls off the impressive feat of discussing humor without sucking the life out of it in this insightful and funny analysis of Jewish humor. . . . Dauber has provided . . . the gold standard for understanding what people of any ethnicity, nationality, or political persuasion find funny, and why.” — Publishers Weekly

Kirkus book review
“An erudite survey of the evolution and distinctiveness of Jewish humor. [Dauber] offers . . . a wide-ranging and insightful cultural analysis.” — Kirkus Reviews

“In this brilliant and groundbreaking book, Jeremy Dauber shows that Jerry Seinfeld and Sarah Silverman are just the latest members of an ancient tradition of Jewish humor that stretches all the way back to the Bible. Writing with dazzling scholarly insight and in a style as appealing as his subject, Dauber reveals what made Jews laugh over the centuries. In doing so, he tells a crucial part of the story of Judaism.” — Adam Kirsch, author of The People and the Books

“This book is brilliant, endlessly revelatory, and Jeremy Dauber is that rare scholar and critic of real depth who doesn’t just make his subject accessible but animates it with the strength of his prose. He’s also one of the few writers I’ve encountered who can explain a joke without killing it. Bravo.” — Sam Lipsyte, author of The Fun Parts

“You can’t understand comedy without knowing Jewish comedy―and you’ll find no smarter, more intrepid, and surprising analysis of the subject than in this book. From the Bible to Kafka to Seinfeld and beyond, Jeremy Dauber’s incisive wit and deep erudition makes Jewish Comedy an essential read for anyone curious about what makes us laugh.” — Jason Zinoman, author of Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night

Booklist Review of  Jewish Comedy: A Serious History
“From Kafka to Mad magazine, [Dauber] delicately mixes scholarship with comedy in what is an entertaining and even profound book.” — Booklist (Starred review)