Family Guy 2

Are Jewish stereotypes funny or just plain offensive?

This video encourages the discussion of Jewish values as they relate to contemporary culture. Jewlarious does not endorse any particular film.


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Comments (32)

(32) JWF, January 25, 2010 8:33 PM

Laughter breaks down barriers

When you make a joke about yourself or except that some of the things that make us jewish seem funny you get the chance (after you stop giggling) to say "But seriously this isn't true..." get it? We are a bit "neurotic" to some when we meticiously follow kashrut... so how do you explain that it is a question of spirituality? Use humor because the first thing people learn after crying is how to laugh and smile ;)

(31) Rina, December 8, 2009 10:01 PM

I truly feel the whole scene was tacky and not humuraus the jokes white people make against jews and asians just displays thier own lack of self confidence

(30) Anonymous, October 20, 2009 3:28 PM

Family Guy is known for this

I think that in this case - they're promoting a steryotype, and in this context, they're subtly promoting jealousy, which in turn promotes anti-semitism. So I did not approve of this clip. However... this 'is' Family Guy. Family Guy makes fun of EVERYTHING. It's what the show is known for. In a couple of episodes they even made fun of strict Catholics. Don't get me wrong - I don't approve of what was shown in this video clip, but I don't think it's as bad as some might initially think if they've never seen the show before.

(29) Michael, August 7, 2009 2:06 AM

It depends on the context.

May Jewish comedians have made a career of poking fun of Jews. Often times the stereotype is what makes it funny. Unfortunately, Family Guy is just plain stupid. Jackie Mason and others of his generation (and earlier) are funny, but not mean. You can relate to their stories and jokes on a personal level because they are meant for a Jewish audience. Family Guy uses old and sometimes hurtful stereotypes about Jews to get a laugh from a gentile audience-big difference, different kind of humor. The old style comics had a strongly "ethnic" Jewish background. The writers of Family Guy do not have that rich foundation to draw from. That is why they do not impress the older generation. Many of today's Jewish comedy writers and actors have this same problem. Just compare Zero Mostel in The Producers (original version) to Ben Stiller in Meet The Parents. Mostel is brilliant as the washed up broadway producer who swindles little old ladies. He draws on the richness of his Jewish experiences to give us a pathetic yet lovable character. Ben Stiller, on the other hand, is just plain pathetic. Buy the end of the movie your hoping that Robert Deniro will throw him out of his house. Television and movies always seem to feature Jewish characters who are flawed. Ben Stiller-stupid; Woody Allen-neurotic, Jerry Seinfeld-shallow and self absorbed. Don't believe me? Ok, when was the last time you saw a movie or TV show that featured a Jewish character that was a positive example of what a Jew should really be? The only time we see such examples are in movies about the Holocaust!

(28) Mike, August 1, 2009 4:25 PM

when parody can cross the line to inciting

i have no problem with poking fun at each other, as the TV show Family Guy does. It helps us all not to take ourselves too seriously. But when the joke is based on a historical misnomer, (such as in the episode of Family Guy where Peter befriends Jesus), that the Jews killed Christ, then you are crossing the line from funny to inciting. Growing up I had many a fist fight because non-Jews around my block were taught and believed that to be fact. But any historical scholar knows that is not the truth. Yet the holocaust and other pogroms were based and supported on this myth. In that same episode, a temple is desecrated. Those kind of images desensitizes people to the fact that this still goes on in the real world everyday. At worst it condones it. Mcfarlane must be careful of not crossing the line from funny hateful propoganda

(27) BBZ, July 27, 2009 1:07 AM

Jewlariously Funny!

Please, Family Guy humor is inherently absurd. Jewish stereotypes aren't offensive, especially when coming from a show that stereotypes African Americans, Native Americans, Christians, Muslims, the Irish, the obese, the mentally disabled, Democrats, Republicans, Nazis, the blind, the deaf, and the mute. If we take offense to the shows jewish humor, then as a socially aware people, we should take a stand for every group being joked about. Moreover, i think there is a wide spectrum of what can be deemed offensive, especially when we talk about different age groups. Today when i was at a local Jewish market, i commented that kidney prices aren't going to be low anymore (an admittedly stupid joke about the recent NJ scandal) and got in a fair amount of trouble with another jewish shopper. Oy gevalt

(26) Howard Miller, July 13, 2009 8:59 PM

...and ignorance triumphs again.

"That lead character always seemed like a complete momonic (sic) baboon. ...never wasted my valuable time watching such tripe." These quotes characterize a sad, but evidently common, way of drawing conclusions: sweeping generalizations based on little to no information. Admitting that she had not watched the show, she concludes it is "tripe" and analyzes the meaning of this snippet. Too bad she, and most of the other commenters, entirely miss the point. This show, considerably better than the puerile tripe promulgated by such stalwarts as Larry David, is a not very subtle, but usually astute, satire on such things as these stereotypes. It is an updated cartoon version of "All in the Family," a show that, also, satirized prejudiced attitudes and stereotypes. One such attitude is the habit of drawing sweeping conclusions, proudly based on ignorance of the facts. Is this bit of the show funny? Mildly; the humor is limited by trite nature of the target prejudices. However, perhaps our culture requires such redundancy in its satirical humor, as it is apparent that it is "over the heads" of much of the audience, even those who should know better.

(25) Dvirah, June 29, 2009 8:28 PM

Funny, but...

Yes, I did find myself laughing at times, but overall I have to agree with those who are against using sterotypes. They can all too easily turn nasty.

(24) Gayle, June 6, 2009 12:41 PM

Anti-Semitism in Family Guy

Some of the humor in "Family Guy" cannot be construed as funny. There was one episode where Peter became a bully and went to the Goldman's pharmacy. He took a cannon and exploded it into a display. Mr. Goldman yells out, "Oh no! Kristelnacht!" This is about as funny as Howard Stern, on his radio show, telling a Jewish caller to stick her head in her oven! It is hostile, insensitive humor, and I can not laugh at it!

(23) Arlene, June 6, 2009 8:51 AM

hated it!

I have never had any desire to watch this show. That lead character always seemed like a complete mornonic buffoon. After watching this snippet complete with terrible stereotypes that I thought terribly unfunny, I am glad I never wasted my valuable time watching this tripe.....and I nver will!

(22) Corvidillis, June 4, 2009 6:07 PM

Stereotypes give us some where to work from.

If we have the compacity to laugh first, then calmly hone our and others understanding. They are great. Family Guy will take a shot at anybody and everybody. And it will be in a way that points out the absurdity of believing these stereotypes can accurately describe a race or culture. Personalities are as diverse in one culture as another.

(21) EG, June 2, 2009 11:36 AM

I laughed

Some of these comments remind me of a quote from a book by Edgar Rice Burroughs: "I am a barbarian and I am proud of it, but I don't relish being called barbarian in a certain tone of voice. The Jews are that way, too. They run around bragging about being Jews, but if anyone calls them Jew, in that tone, they get mad. Lighten up, people!

(20) Anonymous, May 31, 2009 10:54 AM

making fun of stereotypes

Actually my general impression of Family Guy is that they are parodying stereotypes and bigots, not promoting them. Unfortunately probably not everyone watching gets this.

(19) mark klein, May 27, 2009 10:13 AM

I have seen and heard Jewish comedians say allot worse- the family guy does not discriminate there brand of humour is applied to all races, religions & political leanings

(18) Carey, May 27, 2009 4:38 AM

lighten up, have fun with yourself

Friends and Friends I have yet to meet. Stereotypes are fun. Being all Italian living in America I have heard it all, you are all Italian you have to be in the Mafia, do you make bricks, on and on it goes. My parents taught me to laugh at myself, have fun and jokes and words can't hurt you. Worry about things that can harm the soul and body not lame jokes, this is for all nationalities. Capeesh?

(17) Anonymous, May 26, 2009 8:30 PM

At least the stereotypes were positive.

If this had been one of those Rich Jews or Cheap Jews deals I would have been annoyed. Point out our good points more often and that's a welcome stereotype. I have had students tell me that I am rich because I am a Jew. I'd like that stereotype to be true. By the way, I think that Family Guy is, in general, moronic. I am surprised that this is so positive.

(16) Anonymous, May 26, 2009 2:51 PM

It's Horrible

As a non-Jew, I was offended!! This is all the world needs to hear now -- more things to hold against the Jewish people. No, I did not like it one bit!!

(15) Adam, May 26, 2009 12:25 PM

Not the worst thing

Stipulated that stereotypes are both insulting and lazy. That being said, though, there are far worse things than for Jews to have a stereotype that they're smart, etc.

(14) Ed, May 26, 2009 9:47 AM

Stereotypes, Two Sides

I think it was hilarious! When you use stereotypes, it does two things: 1. It points out some truths, because you know someone that is exactly like that! But,... 2. It also reminds you that it's an exaggeration, because you know just as many that AREN'T like that at all. I think it's a good perspective. The knee-jerk reaction is to get mad or sensitive about something that's just silly. And that just makes you reinforce the sterotype. You wouldn't get so angry if it didn't hit home (as true) just a little.

(13) Rachel k, May 26, 2009 9:24 AM

Amen Gary Katz

You are so right Gary, all I have to offer is thanks for saying so well what I would have said too. We need to lighten up, there was some good razzing for those who needed it. God bless the stupid goyim. They can keep us laughing when they aren't building death camps, or bombing women and children in Israel. Other than that, Anonymous, good thing you didn't put your name. Ever hear of spell and grammar check? Don't be shy now.... Rachel K

(12) Gary Katz, May 26, 2009 7:55 AM

Lighten up!

I thought it was funny, and it was obviously meant to be funny and not offensive. If this was the worst we Jews had to endure, that would be a big improvement! Besides, stereotyping Jews as smart is not something to get upset about. It also pokes fun at Farrakhan and Woody Allen, two public figures who deserve a little razzing from time to time.

(11) Anonymous, May 26, 2009 7:54 AM

stupid

stupid is as stupid does, some people, which seem like a great deal today, have decided, made a choice, to stay stupidity, its much easier for them that way becasue that way they dont have to look at themselves, their own flaws, their or prejudice. looking at others, making fun or condemning others doesnt hold them responsible for their actions.

(10) Rachel, May 26, 2009 7:38 AM

Not funny

Making attempts to be "humorous" in a cartoon like this is not funny no matter what religion they chose to highlight.

(9) Ashley Bell, May 26, 2009 3:16 AM

Nature of Stereotype

I think stereotypes happen when other people hold up a mirror to a person's face, write down a distinguishing characteristic of what they see, depict that description & then tell the world that the description they depicted is the actual reflection itself, which is deceptive: not funny. Then again, a stereotype only has power when you believe the lie of the fake reflection in the first place.

(8) john, May 25, 2009 6:02 PM

I don't really find it offensive, I find it funny

(7) Brenda, May 25, 2009 3:08 PM

It wouldn't surprise me if a Jewish person wrote this episode. Then it would be funny.

(6) Paul S. Johnson, May 25, 2009 2:21 PM

Too Much Anti Semitism on TV!!

I think these things in cartoons are far too stereotypical. It not only re-enforces "stereotypes" about Jews, it keeps them going. In "South Park" "Eric Cartman" uses profanity and out right anti- semitic mean spirited, not funny AT ALL attacks on his "Jewish" friend "Stan." They have even admitted they were doing this in one episode, as an irony. It's too easy for the world to go into another frenzied mass murder of Jews. I don't tolerate it at all, and I have in fact taken the channel that plays that show off of my cable. There is an "atmosphere" on earth right now that is as toxic as it is deadly. Obama, as he said to a crowd of 70,000 in Germany is a "citizen of the world!!" And because of that, the insane hatred of Jews is what comes out of the world through the UN and Spain and Syria, Iran, Russia, I could go on, but the point is that the world is AGAINST ISRAEL!! And Obama with his European gangsters are forcing Israel in to a lose lose situation. So, the point I'm making, with the exception of Jewish comedy, on itself, there needs to be NO anti-semitic "Humor" on TV. Because it's NOT FUNNY!! I am a Christian, who recently discovered that I have Jewish blood on both my mother and father's lineage. But even if I didn't know that, I'd STILL be very disgusted by this so called "Humor." It's actually a "Humor Tumor." And I hope it dies off my TV!! -Paul S. Johnson- Email: johnson8@mts.net

(5) Car, May 25, 2009 2:16 PM

Glad I didn't see it the first time

This dribble is from some TV show right. Glad I don't have one. When people go off on stereotypes like this I always wonder why we never hear or see them about our Muslim half- brothers. Maybe because they take offense and then there are consequences like Death. Interesting who "we" think to offend, laugh at...

(4) Anonymous, May 25, 2009 11:01 AM

Funny Funny!!!! Sally Rogow

(3) Roy Feigenbaum, May 25, 2009 10:25 AM

Hillarious, no matter what ...

I, for one, am never offended by any of these. I think "Family Guy" is hillarious. MacFarlane builds on the stereotypes. He makes them so ridiculous they become funny.

(2) Allan, May 25, 2009 10:18 AM

Not offensive

Hey, life is too short. Let's call this little film a bit of fluff. It's making fun of ourselves. The thing was written by a Jew most probably. It didn't say we should all die, bomb Israel or anything like that. Lighten up, we make fun of a shvartza don't we?

(1) Aharon Dawid, May 25, 2009 10:17 AM

yes

Yes, but I have to give Family Guy a pass because they hit EVERYBODY-except MAYBE Inuits(Eskimo). If they haven't they will get them!

 

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