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- Comedy and Jewish Life 3 answers
If you took the general demographic data for the U.S. and compared it to the demographics of professional comics and comedians in the U.S., I think you'd find that Jews are disproportionately overrepresented in the comedy world. And if you compiled a list of the best comedians in U.S. history, I think it, too, would show a disproportionate overrepresentation of Jews.
To put it in simpler terms, Jews are funny (I realize that this is an example of "benevolent prejudice", but it's true - funny Jews are really funny), and a large number of the funniest comedians ever are Jews - Joan Rivers, Rodney Dangerfield, the Three Stooges, the Marx Brothers, Jackie Mason, Roseanne Barr, Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Mel Brooks, Sid Caesar, Danny Kaye, etc, etc, etc.
I'm tempted to say that it has something to do with the effectiveness of humor in relieving stress due to hardship (hardship being something that Jews are all too familiar with), but I would like some more information.
Is there an explanation for this, from either traditional, cultural, historical, or scriptural sources?