Having a funny day?

laughing hyena

Even hyenas know when not to laugh.

A couple days ago, I read this post on the Florida Writers Conference Blog (I know I’m not from Florida, but I happen to really like this blog) about humor. And there’s a fun overview of contemporary religious Jews in comedy¬†right now on Aish.com. So I was already contemplating the subject when I spotted an interview with Ruth Wisse on Tablet about her new book, No Joke.

Ten minutes in, Wisse talks about secular Jewish vs religious humor. If you’re a Jewish writer, it’s worth listening just for that bit.

The conversation as a whole gives a really interesting spin on Jewish comedy, but the most fascinating part is the end of the interview Continue reading

For writers: 5 ways to be funny

Stripped Hyena

If you play your cards right, you’ll have them laughing like hyenas!

It’s been a week and a half since Purim, so I’ve gotten lots of feedback about this year’s Klempner family Purim Spiel. My husband and sister (fellow contributors) agreed with me that this year’s was less funny than last year’s, but we seem to be in a minority. As I mentioned last year, since I began writing professionally, my little hobby now feels like work, and I avoided cranking out a complete rough draft until the week before Purim.

And then, I deleted several stories at almost the last minute. They just weren’t funny enough. So, I prayed–yes, that’s what this professional writer with a Master’s Degree and a generally pragmatic outlook on life did–I prayed for new ideas. And G-d sent some!

Besides relying on Heavenly Intervention, there are other ways to be funny. Without further ado:

5 Ways To Be Funny Continue reading

My 5 Favorite Things Currently on the Web

I spend most of my time on the internet doing work, but every once in a while, I stumble upon something I love and have to keep coming back for more. Here are links to my current favs so you can check them out and get obsessed, too.

1) Space Rabbi – I love the brothers Taub and have enjoyed their various projects on Chabad.org for years. Episode 1 gets off to a slow start, but it’s all wackiness from then on, from the retro “futuristic” design elements, to the HAL references, to the bizarre characterizations of all the electronic gadgets that come to life and interact with Rabbi Blastoffski.

Yes, the main character is actually called Rabbi Blastoffski. How cool is that?

2) Pop Chassid – Currently, my favorite Jewish blog on the internet. Elad Nehorai reflects on Judaism, Chassidus, the arts, and modern life. Not only are his posts insightful, but he has some wonderful followers who post great comments.

3) Hanan Harchol РI first got wind of this guy through a bit he had up on Aish.com.  Most of the videos are animated dialogues between Hanan and (his impersonation of) his father and contain reflections about Jewish philosophy. Utterly charming and thought-provoking.

4) Verplanck – I’m not sure how long these guys are going to be around, because they need to raise funds for their project, but part 6 of their Orthodox online comedy is simply hilarious. (Although you probably need to be religious to get the jokes.) It’s awesome if you’re home sick and are too old for Agent Emes. You will laugh yourself healthy.

5) Shtar – Because they rock. Literally. (Okay, sometimes it’s more like hip-hop. Or maybe techno. Or maybe just cool.) “Wonderland” should be used in commercials by the Ministry of Tourism to encourage travel to Israel.

(My first runner-up is G-dcast, video interpretations of Jewish texts that aren’t always Orthodox, but always creative. Check out Avoiding the Mud for a Chassidishe meise, or The Rise of Yavneh for the story of Kamsa and Bar Kamsa and destruction of the Temple.)