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Comedy

Comedy may seem unimportant, or even counterproductive, in a society that values productivity. Religion in particular is often treated with a seriousness that seems antithetical to comedy, as are its texts. But comedy, alongside and within religion, can help us construct meaning from mundane occurrences and even construct further meaning from notable ones.

Comedy: Our Central Questions

1. Comedy and Religion: What place does comedy occupy in a religious worldview?

2. Learning to Laugh: What is the history of Jewish comedy?

3. Comedy and the Torah: Is there comedy in the Torah?

EPISODES

David explains how comedy and humor can uncover a mystical oneness that allows us to construct meaning and community from mundane occurrences.
In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, David sits down with Gary Gulman, a world-famous comedian with comedy specials on Netflix and HBO, to talk about the relationship between comedy and the art of living.
In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, David sits down with Leah Forster, a world-famous ex-Hasidic comedian, to talk about how her journey has affected her comedy.
In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, David sits down with Rabbi Daniel Feldman, a Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University and an author, to discuss the role of comedy in Jewish thought and practice.
As we live through the ups and downs of life, laughter begins to play an invaluable role in our mental well-being. Perhaps comedy can provide a helpful lens through which to view the sometimes stressful responsibilities of our life.

ARTICLES

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RECOMMENDED READING

IT’S GARRY SHANDLING’S BOOK: EDITED AND WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY JUDD APATOW

GARRY SHANDLING

In 2018, Judd Apatow, released a documentary about his comedic mentor Gary Shandling called The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling. It is an exploration of his life through the musings and ideas he left in his diary. Afterwards, Judd published a collection of his diary entries appropriately called, given Garry’s penchant for meta-cognition and self-reference, It’s Garry Shandling’s Book. It’s a doorway into the mind of a comic, a tortured soul of sorts, whose continuous battle to find meaning in his life can perhaps help others find some in theirs.

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