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Let There Be Laughter by Michael Krasny
Let There Be Laughter

A Treasury of Great Jewish Humor and What It All Means

by Michael Krasny

“Yes this is a joke book. It has in it some of the greatest Jewish jokes of all time.  But it is much more.  Embedded in the jokes and folklore and tales and anecdotes is the history of a people, a tribe, their  value system and their rich ongoing heritage. It is a work of cultural anthropology, a wide portal to understanding Jewish identity and an immersion into the hilarity, joy and power of laughter. So enjoy, learn and, above all, laugh!” 

– Michael Krasny, San Francisco, California, October 2016

About the Book:

From the host of NPR affiliate’s Forum with Michael Krasny, a compendium of Jewish jokes that packs the punches with hilarious riff after riff and also offers a window into Jewish culture.

Michael Krasny has been telling Jewish jokes since his bar mitzvah, and it’s been said that he knows more of them than anyone on the planet. He certainly states his case in this wise, enlightening, and hilarious book that not only collects the best of Jewish humor passed down from generation to generation, but explains the cultural expressions and anxieties behind the laughs.

With his background as a scholar and public-radio host, Krasny delves deeply into the themes, topics, and form of Jewish humor: chauvinism undercut by irony and self-mockery, the fear of losing cultural identity through assimilation, the importance of vocal inflection in joke-telling, and calls to communal memory, including the use of Yiddish.

Borrowing from traditional humor and such Jewish comedy legends as Jackie Mason, Mel Brooks, and Joan Rivers, Larry David, Sarah Silverman, Jerry Seinfeld and Amy Schumer, Let There Be Laughter is an absolute pleasure for the chosen and goyim alike.

Contact Information:

Michael’s literary agent is The Amy Rennert Agency.
Michael’s book publicist is Sharyn Rosenblum. ph.212.207.7470
 Michael's current book is published by Harper Collins.
Michael’s book publicist at New World Library is Monique Muhlenkam.
For inquiries about speaking engagements contact Michael at
Purchase CD's, DVD's and audio downloads of Michael's courses for The Teaching Company.
A list of interviews.
Michael's events
Contact Michael by email at KQED
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Interviews and Articles:

What Does Jewish Humor Mean Today?, An Interview with Michael Krasny, by Ellen Wexler, Moment Magazine, 6.7.17  article ink

Edgy humor is a mitzvah in the age of Trump by David Talbot, San Francisco Chronicle, 1.24.17  article ink

For Sad Democrats, Jewish Humor Helps Make America Bearable Again by Michael Krasny, The Forward, 2.10.17  article ink

 Let There Be Laughter: Modern Jewish Jokes Poke At Assimilation, Weekend Edition with Scot Simon, NPR, 9.25.16   audio link

Too Jewish Radio Show with Rabbi Sam Cohon & Friends, 9.24.16   audio link

Michael Krasny Examines the Wisdom of Jewish Humor in Let There Be Laughter, Forum with Mina Kim, KQED, San Francisco, 9.30.16 audio link

KQED’s Michael Krasny on Jewish Humor, AirTalk with Larry Mantle, KPCC Los Angeles, 10.20.16   audio link

New Book by Michael Krasny Celebrates Jewish Humor, KPIX-TV (CBS), San Francisco, 9.21.16  video link

Michael Krasny’s New Book of Jewish Humor by Paul Liberatore, Marin Independent Journal, 9.14.16  article ink

Will this be on the test? Professor Krasny goes highbrow on Jewish jokes by Dan Pine, Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, 9.22.16   article link

Michael Krasny invites you to yuk it up with him by Lou Fancher, The Mercury News, San Jose, 9.19.16  article link

Let There Be Laughter, Interview with Ronn Owens, KGO-810, San Francisco,  10.17.16  audio link

Let There Be Laughter, Interview with Brian Copeland, KGO-810, San Francisco,  10.24.16  audio link

 Interview with Jim Bohannon, Westwood One, 40:27-1:18:50 10.26.16  audio link

It’s funny what you can learn from Jewish humor by Jonathan Kirsch, Jewish Journal, Los Angeles,  10.26.16  article link

Michael on NPR:

Michael Krasny with Scott Simon on Weekend Edition, NPR 9.24.16


• What’s So Funny About Jewish Humor? by Peter Keenews, New York Times Book Review,  12.1.16

• It’s funny what you can learn from Jewish Humor by Jonathan Kirsch, LA Jewish Journal,  10.26.16

• Famed San Francisco radio host commands laughter with new Jewish humor book by Renee Ghert-Zand, Times of Israel,  3.14.17

Let There Be Laughter is available in audio book at Audible and on the Short Story Masterpieces by The Teaching Company.

Michael Krasny in conversation with Peter Coyote at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. 10.6.15  view
An Unforgettable Night of Jewish Humor at the 92nd Street Y, New York. 2.23.17  view

Thoughtful Assessments:

“Isn’t Michael Krasny the most wonderfully versatile writer? Isn’t this book side-splittingly hilarious? Why can’t I come for the jokes and then stay for ‘what it all means?’ Why did it take so long for someone this talented to give us something so funny, meaningful and durable? And why can’t a Gentile answer a question (‘will you blurb my book?’) with a question? I loved it.”

– Ken Burns

“Why is ‘Jewish’ the only religion with a type of humor named after it? Because the Jews are God’s chosen people. And God has a sense of humor. Check Genesis 1:27, ‘So God created man in his own image.’ Now look in the mirror. God is kidding. Michael Krasny explains it all in Let There be Laughter.”

–  P. J. O’Rourke

“A book about Jewish jokes – that’s as funny as the jokes – what’s not to love.”

– Andy Borowitz

“It is a scientific fact (which I just made up but I bet it’s true) that the Jewish people have produced more good jokes than any other group. And Michael Krasny appears to have collected them all in this hilarious and informative book. Krasny is that rare writer who can explain humor without ruining it; you’ll laugh, but you’ll also learn.”

– Dave Barry

“Each time I feel despairing I pick up “Let There Be Laughter” and the fog lifts as I rejoice once again in the joy of being alive. Krasny is a master of humor and a consummate analyst of the wisdom underlying humor.” 

– Irwin Yalom

all text and images © 2018 Dr. Michael Krasny, PhD  |  Site by Bill Russell Design

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