Jewish Studies | Contemporary Jewish Humor in Film & Television
J203 | 26923-29292 | P. Gluck
JSTU-J 203 Arts & Humanities Topics in Jewish Studies (3 cr.) Pearl
Topic: Contemporary Jewish Humor in Film and Television
MW 5:30-6:45 p.m. and M 7:00-9:00 p.m. #26923
(15 seats have been reserved for Jewish Studies students in #29292.
From Fanny Brice's burlesque comedies in early cinema to today's
twisted sophistications of Sacha Baron Cohen, Jewish American
writers, directors and performers have excelled at creating comedies
with enormous cultural and sociological impact in film and TV. This
course will explore some of the most successful and resonant Jewish
comic artists in recent decades. Classes will focus on epresentations
of race, ethnicity, and identity in the film and TV works of artists
such as the Marx Brothers, Jack Benny, Gertrude Berg, Woody Allen,
Mel Brooks, Barbara Streisand, Sid Caesar, Larry David, and Sarah
There will be an opportunity for students to produce a short video
or a stand-up routine as part of their final project featuring their
own comedic work. (For the production element, previous experience
is recommended, but not required).
Films and TV Shows Include: “The Goldbergs”, “Duck Soup”, “Play It
Again, Sam”, “Blazing Saddles”, “The Producers”, “Jesus is
Magic”, “To Be Or Not To Be”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” ("The Survivor"
episode), “Seinfeld”, “Portnoy's Complaint”, “Da Ali G Show”,
and “Funny Girl.”
Readings include: Jewish Wry by Sarah Blacher Cohen, American Jewish
Filmmakers by David Desser and Lester D. Friedman, American Space,
Jewish Time by Stephen Whitfield, Entertaining America by Jay
Hoberman and Jeffrey Shandler, You Should See Yourself by Vincent
Brook, and Fighting To Become American by Riv Ellen Prell.
Requirements for the course include class participation, an in-class
presentation, regular short film reviews, and a final paper.
Fulfills: For students matriculating BEFORE summer 2009 History &
Society course; For majors matriculating BEGINNING summer 2009 can
be used for Literature and the Arts or History & Society course; A&H