Jewish Comedy

Humor is a part of every culture and religion including Judaism over the last century. In the United States and Canada, it started with Vaudeville, (Vaudeville was a theatrical genre of variety entertainment from the early 1880s until the early 1930s. Each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill. Types of acts included popular and classical musicians, dancers, comedians, trained animals, magicians, etc.) This continued through radio, stand-up comedy, film and television. During that time a large number of Americans and Russians have been Jewish.

In recent years, there are a lot of Jewish comedians in Hollywood with the likes of Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Billy Crystal, Shia LeBeuf, Matthew Broderick, Zach Braff, Jack Black, Justin Deerfield, Zach Ephron, Peter Falk, Harrison Ford, Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Kevin Kline, Lisa Kudrow, Alex Linz, Marlee Matlin, Logan O’Brian, Joaquin Phoenix, Daniel Radcliff (yes, Harry Potter is Jewish), Winona Ryder, Liev Schreiber, Jon Stewart, Elizabeth Taylor, Ricky Ullman, Pink, Josh Peck, Mandy Patinkin, Seth Green, Kirk and Michael Douglas, David Duchovny, Andy Kaufman and it goes on.

Another actor that made it big in Hollywood is Ben Stiller. Stiller is a member of the comedic acting brotherhood colloquially known as the Frat Pack. His films have grossed more than $2.1 billion worldwide, with an average of $73 million per film. Throughout his career, he has received several awards and honors including an Emmy Award, several MTV Movie Awards, and a Teen Choice Award.

Ben Stiller is the son of Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, a bickering comedy team famous from the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. In addition to their work as a duo, his father was also a regular on Seinfeld and King of Queens; and his mother was on All My Children and Archie Bunker’s Place for years.

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