Josh Lambert (@joshnlambert), a Tablet Magazine contributing editor and comedy columnist, is the academic director of the Yiddish Book Center, Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and author most recently of Unclean Lips: Obscenity, Jews, and American Culture.
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Wet Hot American Jewish Summer Camp

Unlike a lot of classic teen comedies, the original ‘Wet Hot’ and its new Netflix revival series do not wash out the Jews. Is this a good sign or bad?

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Comedy Isn’t Kosher, but It Can Be Funny

How observant Jewish funnymen (and -women) navigate the line between irreverence and devotion

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Remembering ‘Screw’ Publisher Al Goldstein

The original ‘bad Jewish boy’ has died at 77

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Potty-Mouthed Queen of the Jews, Sarah Silverman Does Something Special on HBO

The intimate, obscene, lovable, fearless stand-up of ‘We Are Miracles’ shows the comedian at her sweet, shameless best

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How the King of Shmutz Won the World

This award proves, once and for all, that Roth isn’t too obscene. Nor is he too American, or too male, or too Jewish.

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Portnoy’s Complaint, Philip Roth (1969)

The bard of Newark’s take on sex, Jewish mothers, and how to prepare liver

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Allan Sherman’s Last Laugh

A thorough new biography chronicles the rise and fall of the big, Jewish self-destructive funnyman

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Brent Weinbach Is Killing Me

He’s one of the most inventive stand-up comedians around. So, why does he sound like a throwback?

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Tel Aviv’s Comics Knock-Out

Israeli Asaf Hanuka crashes the party in Paris, as the comic-strip-obsessed city hosts Spiegelman and Crumb

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Non-Jews Telling Jokes

To understand what comedy today reveals about Jews, look at the jokes gentile comedians tell about us

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Jewish Comedy Turns Sane

Once an institutionalized mental patient, the comic Moshe Kasher unleashes his psychological self-abuse in the new memoir Kasher in the Rye

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Primary Sources

Five Books: Jews in film, Jews and booze, the poisonous sound of children’s voices in Ben Marcus’ novel, Tony Judt’s last conversations, and more

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Covered

Five Books, holiday edition: Nine hardbacks—including Philip Schultz’s memoir, a history of the orgasm, and Alfred Kazin’s journals—for the readers on your list

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Field Notes

Five Books: A biography of sportscaster Howard Cosell, the life of film critic Pauline Kael, the poets who translated Shakespeare into Hebrew, and more

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Tropical Storm

Henry Miller had complicated feelings about Jews, but his works wouldn’t have reached American audiences without them

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Around Reading

After two years and 100 weekly “On the Bookshelf” columns about new books, assessing the impressive breadth of Jewish letters today

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On the Bookshelf

Jews have always been keen on joining revolutions. Some revolutionaries, like Emma Goldman, sought to change the minds of workers; others, like Richard Feynman, looked to change our understanding of matter.

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On the Bookshelf

Yiddish is far from dead. It’s undead, and it haunts everything from Harvey Pekar’s comics to the vampire literature of the early 20th century.

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On the Bookshelf

The term “post-Holocaust” raises conceptual problems, but a host of new books helps define it by exploring everything from Nazis on the run to Jews on the mend

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On the Bookshelf

Books on what makes Jews Jewish, from debates over conversion and consideration of kashrut laws to rethinking the Jewish body, with a cameo by Bob Saget

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On the Bookshelf

Running away: From Mossad-appointed time-travelers to daughters of famous novelists, these summer reads offer a healthy dose of escapism

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Love and Death

Long before the Supreme Court deemed violent video games free speech, the 1940s cultural critic Gershon Legman noted Americans’ paradoxical views on sex and violence

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On the Bookshelf

Playing music: Books on too-expensive concert tickets, the too-Jewish-sounding Simon and Garfunkel, and the just-Jewish-enough Louis Armstrong

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On the Bookshelf

The state of the Jewish state: Activists, artists, and academics—including Jeremy Ben-Ami, Udi Aloni, and Albert Einstein—argue about Israel

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On the Bookshelf

On the road: checking in with Jewish life—and Jewish ghosts—in China, Europe, and Latin America

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On the Bookshelf

Unzipped: Those who do and those who don’t—frank talk about Jews and sex

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On the Bookshelf

Jotted down: letters, diaries, recipes, and other random scribblings

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Archive Fever

Why a growing number of today’s young Jewish fiction writers—including two of the finalists for the Sami Rohr Prize being awarded tonight—are grounding their novels in scholarly research

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On the Bookshelf

Medieval times: astrologers, kabbalists, illuminations, textualizations, and the evil inclination

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