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Tribal Humor Goes Viral

The new face of and platform for Jewish comedy

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From “The Pursuit of Jappiness.”(YouTube)

“The Pursuit of Jappiness” is an almost funny parody of the hip-hop artist Kid Cudi’s 2009 single “Pursuit of Happiness” that highlights legging-clad, Gucci-toting Jewish members of the University of Michigan student body. With lyrics like, “The gossip, the drama, spring break in Bahamas,/Patron on the rocks, scooped out bagel with lox,” this song plays like a less inventive version of another recent gem, “Nassau (County) State of Mind”—which, though less overtly Jewish, still gets the point across (and, for this blogger anyway, hits closer to home—what up, Kitchen Kabaret?).

This wave of made-for-you but also made-for-YouTube parodies (shockingly, The New York Times wasn’t the first to expose Murray Hill’s demographic; and let’s not even get into The Maccabeats), made by young, affluent Jews to mock the proclivities of young, affluent Jews, is hardly unprecedented in the annals of Jew-on-Jewish humor.

What these videos do, however, is up the satirical ante by (kind of annoyingly) perpetuating Jewish stereotypes in a new, viral arena. Verdict: Not good for the Jews, but get used to it—this just may be the next generation of Jewish comedians. Also, something about bigger smoked fish to fry.

University Students Spread ‘Jap’ Awareness in Viral Video [The Michigan Daily]
Related: Murray Hill, A Steppingstone After College [NYT]

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While these videos might, as you say, “up the satirical ante”, they seem to miss the one component off really good satire. Namely, humor.

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Tribal Humor Goes Viral

The new face of and platform for Jewish comedy

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