Time to be funny! Turn things upside down! It’s really Adar this time. I promise.

Okay, so for those who have no idea what the title of today’s post means, I’ll clarify:

Don't you wanna dress up for Purim?

Don’t you wanna dress up for Purim?

The Hebrew month of Adar contains the wacky holiday of Purim. The thing is, when there’s a leap year, there’s an entire extra month of Adar–because if you’re going to have a month that comes twice, it might as well as be the one that’s known as the happiest of the year. But there’s only Purim in the second Adar.

After a month of tolerating a giant “SIKE!” the second Adar of 5774 started yesterday. Jewish kids everywhere are going crazy. Continue reading

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┬áright 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

How to write funny: what you can learn from Isaac Asimov

Asimov on Humor

A must-read for anyone who wants to write humor

When I first married my husband, I was delighted to discover among his possessions a copy of Isaac Asimov’s Treasury of Humor. I had read the book in high school and enjoyed reading it again, this time discussing it extensively with my husband.

Not only does this book contain jokes–great, classic ones–but Asimov explains why they’re funny, how to tell them, the origin of them, and if there are different versions. He explains the differences between shaggy dog stories, puns, black/gallows humor, and so on, and what makes each type tick. Asimov does this all in a chatty way that reminds you of your great-uncle shmoozing with you–it’s just so much fun.

Flash forward a few years. Continue reading