Several articles have come out in the past few years, in sources as diverse as New York Magazine and Haaretz, talking about the future of Jewish humor. The gist of these articles is that traditional Jewish humor is evolving. The Jewish humor of old, based off the diaspora and communal hardship, is simply not relevant to many Jewish comedians.
People often site prolific Jewish comedian Larry David’s hit show Curb your Enthusiasm. Although the protagonist does plenty of suffering, it is self-induced. While this speaks to the tradition of neurosis in Jewish humor, the show’s backdrop of glamorous, successful Jews in Hollywood is not a depiction of hardship.
People also point to the fact that humor in Israel and Jewish humor around the world differ greatly. Popular humor in Israel certainly speaks to Judaism but also caters to the national Israeli identity. This humor is fairly localized and typically does not receive huge success with Jews abroad.
What does this mean for Jewish humor? Like all cultures, it is evolving. As the situation in Israel–and for Jews around the world–changes, the way Jews relate to the world through humor will change. With so much great Jewish comedy happening all over the world, what’s next is anyone’s guess.