You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Comedy

Joan Rivers, 1933 - 2014

“I am not the ideal Jewish woman,” Joan Rivers admits in a comedy act filmed in the Jewish Women’s Archive film, Making Trouble. “I love to take [my audience] to the edge,” she says. “I love to get them upset . . . And ruin their value system.” Known for her aggressiveness and her “unkosher” bawdy style, in critic Sarah Cohen’s words, Rivers (nee Joan Molinsky), Phi Beta Kappa Barnard graduate and daughter of a Brooklyn Jewish doctor, performed for over forty years.

Elaine May

Elaine May broke down barriers for women in comedy, first as half of the celebrated comic duo Nichols and May, then as one of the few women writer/directors in Hollywood.

Death of writer and comedian Selma Diamond

September 5, 1985
Selma Diamond was hard to miss, in a writer’s room, on a talk show, or in situation comedy.

Alyson Hannigan

From her role as an unconventional flautist in American Pie to that of a lesbian witch on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, actress Alyson Hannigan has delighted in turning audience expectations on their heads.

Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones has starred in dozens of films, but is best known for her roles on TV shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation.

Clara Lipman

Clara Lipman based her long and successful career as an actress and playwright on her ingénue performances and her gift for light comedy.

Actress-Scientists

Stars of STEM and Screen

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham became the first woman to win a Director’s Guild Award for Outstanding Director for a Comedy Series for her HBO series Girls, for which she writes, directs, produces and plays the lead character.

Joan Rivers and Jewish Comedy: A Remembrance

“I am not the ideal Jewish woman,” Joan Rivers admits in a comedy act filmed in the Jewish Women’s Archive film, Making Trouble. “I love to take [my audience] to the edge,” she says.  “I love to get them upset . . . And ruin their value system.” Known for her aggressiveness and her “unkosher” bawdy style, in critic Sarah Cohen’s words, Rivers (nee Joan Molinsky), Phi Beta Kappa Barnard graduate and daughter of a Brooklyn Jewish doctor, performed for over forty years. 

Anna Held

A scandalous figure who regularly changed details of her life to suit her image, actress Anna Held was best known for her relationship with Florenz Ziegfeld.

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Comedy." (Viewed on December 18, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/comedy>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Sign Up for JWA eNews

 

Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs