Will This Be on the Test? Professor Krasny Goes Highbrow on Jewish Jokes

Thursday, September 29, 2016
Photo of Michael Krasny

J WEEKLY -- Krasny, who can weigh in on everything from the new Don DeLillo novel to U.S. energy policy, is an expert on another, slightly less highbrow facet of human existence. Since childhood, he’s been collecting a Chuckle Hut’s worth of Jewish jokes, committing them to memory and retelling them.

Given his other career as an English and American literature professor at San Francisco State University, Krasny doesn’t just retell jokes in his book. He explains and expounds upon them.

“There are a lot of Jewish joke books,” he says. “I wanted to take a more scholarly approach and look at what the jokes mean. I don’t know that there’s much out there that does it with quite the analytic fervor I brought to it.”