After enduring 18-months of a highly contentious presidential cycle, we are finally arriving at the finish line! From early in the election, candidates threw out barbs like comedians throw out one-liners. Republican versus Republican; Republican versus Democrat, Democrat versus Republican, and ultimately, one man versus one woman. And like comedy, it hasn’t been pretty.
From Groucho Marx to Sarah Silverman, many of America’s best-known comedians have been Jewish. Humor is so important to Jewish culture that a recent Pew study on American Jewish identity found that 42 percent of American Jews consider “having a good sense of humor” to be “an essential part of what being Jewish means.”
While there have been many books written about the hallmarks of Jewish comedy, you’ll find that common themes often include social/individual awareness with a heaping dose of self-deprecation. For example…
The census taker comes to the Goldman house.
“Does Louis Goldman live here?” he asks.
“No,” replies Goldman.
“Well, then, what is your name?”
“Wait a minute–didn’t you just tell me that Goldman doesn’t live here?”
“Aha,” says Goldman. “You call this living?”
I thought it would be fun if we went head to head with a couple of our favorite comedians. Just like in our election, let’s do this man versus woman - king of the one-liners paired up with the queen of the one-liners! We aren’t looking for a winner - we just want you to have a few good laughs! So ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together and give a warm welcome to Joan Rivers and Rodney Dangerfield…
Joan: My earliest childhood memory was watching my parents loosen the wheels on my stroller.
Rodney: I could tell my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.
Joan: I was the only Jewish kid in a Catholic neighborhood. They all did Hail Marys, I did Hail Murrays.
Rodney: My mother never breast fed me, she told me she only liked me as a friend.
Joan: I was so ugly that they sent my picture to Ripley’s Believe It or Not and they sent it back and said, "I don’t believe it."
Rodney: My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said, “Okay, you're ugly too.”
Joan: I hate housework. You make the beds, you do the dishes, and six months later, you have to start all over again.
Rodney: My wife is always trying to get rid of me. The other day she told me to put the garbage out. I said to her I already did. She told me to go and keep an eye on it.
Joan: I have no sex appeal. If my husband didn’t toss and turn, we’d never have had the kid.
Rodney: My wife met me at the door the other night in a sexy negligee. Unfortunately, she was just coming home.
Joan: I blame my mother for my poor sex life. All she told me was, "The man goes on top and the woman underneath." For three years my husband and I slept in bunk beds.
Rodney: My marriage is on the rocks again, yeah, my wife just broke up with her boyfriend.
Joan: - I saw a Jewish porno film: One minute of sex and nine minutes of guilt.
Rodney: My wife's jealousy is getting ridiculous. The other day she looked at my calendar and wanted to know who May was.
Joan: Don't talk to me about Valentine's Day. At my age, an affair of the heart is a bypass.
Rodney: Yeah, I know I'm ugly... I said to a bartender, 'Make me a zombie.' He said 'God beat me to it.'
Joan: No man is ever going to put his hand up your dress looking for a library card.
Rodney: My wife can't cook at all. She made chocolate mousse. An antler got stuck in my throat.
Joan: -I've had so much plastic surgery, when I die, they will donate my body to Tupperware.
Rodney: What a dog I got, his favorite bone is in my arm.
Joan: At my funeral, I want Meryl Streep crying in five different accents.
Rodney: I get no respect. The way my luck is running, if I was a politician I would be honest.