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Toothpaste
12-23-2007, 08:16 AM
ooh . . . what will this thread be about they wonder . . .what does it mean?

Eh, not much really. I just really like this SNL clip song thingy, and felt like spreading the joy . . .

http://youtube.com/watch?v=lbFFltjoGdI (http://youtube.com/watch?v=lbFFltjoGdI)

ETA: Dude. I just noticed. I'm over 2000 posts. Woah.

quickWit
12-23-2007, 08:20 AM
Silly Rabbi, Christmas is for Gentiles.

SpookyWriter
12-23-2007, 08:22 AM
:popcorn:

MacAllister
12-23-2007, 10:58 PM
Heh. Just watched the video, which doesn't seem, in fact, to be making fun of anyone. I found it a gentle and humorous glimpse of our differences -- with no derogatory intent whatsoever.

And pretty damned accurate, which is what makes it funny.

So let's talk about humor, and humor in popular culture -- which honestly, is very much what the question is, in terms of why this thread got locked in OP.

Jersey Chick
12-23-2007, 11:14 PM
I just watched the clip and I don't see what the big deal is - it isn't putting anyone down or making fun of anyone - at least not in a way that can be construed as truly hurtful. Of course, humor varies from person to person, but I think you'd have to really be looking for a reason to find that clip offensive.

Just my $0.02

MacAllister
12-23-2007, 11:21 PM
Heh. I have friends who make Passover jokes about microwave ovens that seat fifteen.

Now -- clearly, that's not a joke that I would make, being non-Jewish...but it's that edgy thing around privileged language, right? Now, I don't mean to imply that I thought the linked video edgy at all (I didn't, in fact) But humor, in my experience, has to ring true to be funny - and it can either laugh with or laugh at the object of the joke...this laughed with.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
12-23-2007, 11:30 PM
I dunno... not being Jewish or Christian, I didn't think it was funny at all.

Little Red Barn
12-23-2007, 11:36 PM
Well we are a diverse group of writers/readers or tryn' to be writers. :D All with different comp skills and i'll say only this, don't think toothpaste would go out of her way to be hurtful.

I'll be home prayn' my hubby doesn't get a S.W.A.T call out because of too much merry and heated discussions like these above, which turn domestic. I've spent a couple of Christmas days alone.
merry holidays and hugs to all

maxmordon
12-23-2007, 11:51 PM
Anyone else remembers Hannuckah Harry? Now that's funny!

http://www.leenite.org/jonisland/hharry/hhphone.jpg

"On Moshe! On Herschel! On Shlomo!"

http://www.leenite.org/jonisland/hharry/hh_xmas1.htm

rugcat
12-24-2007, 12:11 AM
Humor certainly is a subjective thing. My Aunt Helen once told me a joke, very much “Jewish” humor, that I found hysterical. Most of my friends, including some Jews, didn’t find it funny at all. Not offensive – they just didn’t get it and didn’t think it was funny.

The best ethnic oriented jokes usually come from people in that ethnic group – partly I guess because they are “allowed” to tell them, and partly because they know from personal experience just how funny their own ethnic or religious quirks can be.

Ethnic humor is tricky, though. There is a fine line between pointing out amusing and mostly true quirks of a particular ethnic group and using ethnic differences to mock and degrade people.

I could give examples of the difference between the two types of jokes, but I don’t want to start any trouble. It’s Christmas, after all.

Williebee
12-24-2007, 12:29 AM
hmm, Humor in Pop Culture is probably a dissertation or two.

The darker the times, the more we laugh, the darker the humor. And what was funny "then", meaning tragic times of the past, gets a laugh now perhaps only because we are laughing at the memory of it being funny.

And sometimes what is funny is strictly situational/environmental.

Example:

Aboard a US Navy ship, seven months out at sea. Turning circles in the Arabian Sea and home is still months away. This was before satellite TV brought us the world in real time. (Not that long ago, actually) We'd heard everyone's stories, seen all the video tapes. The movie Caddyshack ran on the TV in the mess EVERY FREAKIN DAY at lunchtime. And, it had gone from funny, to not so funny, to irritating as hell, and back to funny again.

Meanwhile, the funniest joke making the rounds of the ship was this:

"If a chicken and a half can lay an egg and a half, in a day in a half, how long would it take a one-legged frog to kick the seeds off a dill pickle? Answer: It don't matter. Ice cream ain't got no bones."

Looking back, the only thing funny is that we thought it was hysterical at the time.

A bit of absolute nonsense that was welcome silliness in a stressful time.

Dawno
12-24-2007, 12:46 AM
I read this blog (http://pandagon.blogsome.com/2007/12/23/6478/) post on Pandagon recently and perhaps this is a good place to share it as it talks about humor. The topic is about women in comedy, but this piece seems quite relevant to the topic at hand.


Because I’m a semi-nice person on occasions, I often hit a bump when trying to write something funny, because I realize that X percentage of any audience will probably find it offensive, and I have to steel myself and remember that if it doesn’t have the potential to piss someone off, it’s not funny. Sometimes it’s not an issue, like when I’m mocking public wingnut types, but sometimes you have to go for the kill on stuff that might make some people you like uncomfortable, like mocking religion. As for “wit” being something that might be distinguishable from aggressive humor, I’ll just say that the most common modifier to “wit” is “biting” for a reason.

maxmordon
12-24-2007, 12:48 AM
We also Latinos have the amazing capacity of laughing at our worst time. Just see the most popular sitcom in Latinamerica hare the vaudevillesque life of a homeless 8 years old boy in a poor slum (played by a 40 years old man)

http://www.chidospace.com/Images/Chespirito/images/vecindario-chavo.jpg

Christine N.
12-24-2007, 03:21 AM
Actually the video makes a salient point.

I used to work in a hotel spa. It had a gym attached, the gym was available to hotel guests and they sold memberships to residents and locals. This was a five star deal, not some no-tell motel.

We were always open on Christmas, not just because hotel guests might like to use the facilities on the holiday, but because a good deal of the members were Jewish. 'Why should the gym be closed on a day that wasn't a holiday for them?' was the explanation I got, I think. The video just made me remember that time, and it is rather humorous.

robeiae
12-24-2007, 03:33 AM
So let's talk about humor, and humor in popular culture -- which honestly, is very much what the question is, in terms of why this thread got locked in OP.
Such a discussion, imo, begins and ends with Don Rickles. He is able to get away with everything, while others (like Michael Richards, for instance) get burned down for crossing lines.

Why is that? Is it all in the delivery? Or maybe it's in his history, having taken shots at pretty much every group--religious, ethnic, sexual--under the sun.

Jersey Chick
12-24-2007, 03:36 AM
Timing definitely has to do with it. Could Don Rickles get away with it now, if he was an unknown? I doubt it - people are far too sensitive nowadays (or at least, looking for a reason to be offended.)

Back after I graduated from high school, one of my first jobs was in a family-owned pharmacy. They used to close on Christmas until one year, when the owner (who was Jewish) decided that he'd stay open and he and his (grown) kids would work. Made everyone happy and made sense.

DonnaDuck
12-24-2007, 07:22 PM
I saw The Producers when I was in England. It was a late afternoon show but there was still quite a few people in the theater (this was the show, not the movie). Seeing as it's a Mel Brooks piece, it's, obviously, littered with Jewish jokes and slaps at Jewish culture. They got to a joke about Nathan Lane's character and the old woman who tries to bop him playing a game called The Jewish Princess and Her Husband, or something to that effect. I was laughing my ass off at the delivery but I was the only one. Apparently Long Island Jew jokes don't cross the pond all that well. Not that the people in the theater were offended but I honestly don't think they got it.

Another example is Lock Stockand Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. I thought Snatch was hilarious but for Lock Stock, I laughed when I understood it but I didn't understand the rest of it. I didn't get the jokes.

Humor is entirely subjective and if people were to just unclench and stop putting negative emphasis on words then they wouldn't get hypertensive about the notion of getting offended. Call me a dago, wop, guinea, guido. Hell, call me the infamous c-word and I would just look at you and go 'And?' Words only mean something if you make them mean something, especially in a joking manner. True, there are some truly tasteless jokes but joking in good spirit shouldn't render a stoning.

Christine N.
12-25-2007, 02:21 AM
Yeah, I can't understand how anyone would be offended by that clip. Really. Christmas Day is a Christian Holiday, and for Jews it's like any other day of the week. There is parking and no lines in stores and everything seems quiet. It actually happens, and no one gets hurt.

What's the big whoop?

Unique
12-25-2007, 06:47 PM
I saved that clip and sent it to myself so I could watch it again.

Does that make me a bad person? :o

I'm a Polack and you can tell Polack jokes all day long - I'll chalk it up to jealousy because we're smart and we can cook like nobody's business. :D

jst5150
12-25-2007, 06:52 PM
Such a discussion, imo, begins and ends with Don Rickles. He is able to get away with everything, while others (like Michael Richards, for instance) get burned down for crossing lines.

Why is that? Is it all in the delivery? Or maybe it's in his history, having taken shots at pretty much every group--religious, ethnic, sexual--under the sun.

Frank Sinatra.

Tiger
12-26-2007, 10:50 PM
I grew up with guys pulling up the corners of their eyes, chuckling "ah so, ah so." It bothered me because, obviously, I couldn't figure out who they were trying to imitate.

None of my Jewish friends ever did that. We sat and comiserated about our math and science stereotypes.

NikeeGoddess
12-27-2007, 03:20 AM
here's the jew revenge - and this one has already gone down in the history books:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=lwYQBV66rbM

DonnaDuck
12-27-2007, 06:39 AM
I love that song.