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Old Jews Telling Jokes: 5,000 Years of Funny Bits and Not-So-Kosher Laughs Paperback – September 7, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Old Jews Telling Jokes: 5,000 Years of Funny Bits and Not-So-Kosher Laughs
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Chock full of funny stuff!" -- Mel Brooks, director and author of The 2000 Year Old Man

About the Author

During a twenty year career in the New York film industry, Sam Hoffman has Produced, Directed or Assistant Directed numerous films, shorts, second units and commercials including:  The Royal Tenenbaums, School of Rock, The Producers Musical, Donnie Brasco, Dead Man Walking and Groundhog Day.Currently, Hoffman is Executive Producing “The Oranges” starring Hugh Laurie and Catherine Keener. 

In January of 2009, Hoffman partnered with Jetpack Media to launch OldJewsTellingJokes.com – a website devoted to video portraits of Old Jews Telling Jokes. Since then, the videos have been viewed over 7 million times and have been released on DVD by First Run Features. The site, covered in countless blogs, has been featured in New York Magazine, the Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal. 
 
Hoffman graduated with Honors from the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in New York City with his wife Andrea Crane, a modern art specialist with the Gagosian Gallery, their son Jack and daughter Juliet.
  
 
Eric Spiegelman produces original Internet content for Jetpack Media, a production company founded by GreeneStreet Films in 2008. Before that, he was a lawyer.

Eric graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and from Boston University. He lives in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; First Edition edition (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345522354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345522351
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Graham Zaretsky on September 24, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book because it was advertised on the "Old Jews Telling Jokes" website, one of my favorite humor sites on the web. If you are unfamiliar with the website, then the book is probably great for you. Unfortunately, most or all of the jokes in the book so far are taken from that commercially-paid website. Unless you are hearing-impaired, and are 'religiously' opposed to commercials, the website is a much better experience. Jokes are simply funnier when told, with all the inflection, timing, acting and accents.

The book is funny enough; but I suppose I was hoping for a lot of stuff not shown on the website.
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Format: Audio CD
What started out as a 44-minute DVD released in September 2009 (see my review of that on Amazon), is now a three-hour "audio book". The video showed some older Jews (both male and female) telling jokes. They stood in from of a curtain and (usually) made you laugh. These weren't visual jokes so the visuals weren't needed.

Director Sam Hoffman put out the word to have folks submit jokes and audition for the audio-only version. He got hundreds of replies. The result is that the best of the lot are included on the 3-disc CD set. While many of the jokes - recorded in front of a live audience - are told by their contributors, some are read by Hoffman himself - with acknowledgement to the submitter. Hoffman has also, expanded the concept in this audio version by adding introductions to many of the jokes, or the "chapters" (actually subject headings). He provides a background on Jewish humor and nearly always translates or defines certain Jewish or Yiddish words necessary in order to understand the joke.

A few of these "jokes" are legendary and have lived on through the years. But many were new to me and I found myself laughing out loud in public places while listening through my earbuds. Sometime it was the punch line; sometime the delivery.

And what defines "old" in the title. I'd change it to "older" if I could (but it wouldn't be funny, right? Most of the story tellers appear to be in the 50+ age range.

While non-Jews might find some interest in this product, its aimed at the Jewish population. And I can certainly recommend it for a few fun hours to lighten your day. Life is too short. Laugh a little!

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
as an 81 year old product of a jewish father and a shiksa mother this collection of oft told anecdotes.these jokes are conveniently arranged by topic. keep this book by your bedside instead of your spouse.don't even think of memorizing these nuggets of oorn. dr. roy suggests a small spoonful taken at least three times daily.
as usual amazon beat their mailing deadline.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started reading the website when it first appeared online. Adorable. I bought the book for a friend who was starting chemo, because I thought she needed a good laugh (I read it before giving it to her). She loved it. She saw the play in NYC and hurt from laughing.That's my next stop.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed their web site and the book. It is easy to read and provides much entertainment for many people. I use it at parties and it is always a hit.

I highly recommend the book.

Richard
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Before purchasing this book, I read parts in a store and was impressed. Now that I have had the opportunity to read the whole book, I found the jokes on the whole to be original and first rate. I liked the background on the tellers which allowed for a better understanding of how the particular joke developed.

I would recommend a leisurely journey through the book, enjoying each joke and sharing it with someone who would also appreciate it,
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We bought this for our 31 year old son who has a great memory and was spouting out the jokes within minutes of finishing the book. We all loved the jokes! Jewish humor is in a league all its own and this book nails it.
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Format: Paperback
After falling in love with the web site and videos on which this book is based, I had to see the book which is a delight. But there's nothing like hearing someone tell a joke which the videos capture so beautifully. Bravo on a job well done! Earthy and addictive -- laughter is indeed the best medicine. Author, Yiddish Yoga: Ruthie's Adventures in Love, Loss, and the Lotus Position
[...]
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