An Essay with Examples (Less Essay, More Examples). The Jewish joke is as old as Abraham, and like the Jews themselves it has wandered over the world, learned countless new languages, worked with a range of different materials, been performed in front of some pretty hostile crowds, but still retained its own distinctive identity. So what is it that animates the Jewish joke? Why are Jews so often thought of as 'funny'? And how old can a joke get? 'The Jewish Joke' is a brilliant - and very funny - riff on Jewish jokes, about what marks them apart from other jokes, why they are important to Jewish identity and how they work.