On July , I did my first ELI Talks on Air hosting gig, an interview (embed below) with the guys from the Jewish video site Shmideo (check out their guide to creating a perfectly boring High Holidays speech here). We talked the Pew Report, puppets, Pythons, Yom Kippur, the Middle East conflict and the Messiah, not in that particular order. Actually, in this particular order - feel free to skip around to view only the parts you like, or watch the whole bantery thing....
2:15 - What is the difference between "laughing with" and "laughing at Judaism"?
5:25 - Talking beards with Lubavitchers
13:04 - Will the Messiah be one big comedy club?
14:17 - Is there a role for comedy in these uncertain times?
18:25 - Is Jewish humor about joy or pain?
20:28 - How might humor mend the rift between Israelis and Palestinians (or at least contribute to Jewish unity)?
25:00 - What is the deal with puppets? (And is there a role for them in the Middle East?)
32:06 - I ask them about the comparison to Monty Python, making an error in announcing the number of Pythons in trying to make a joke that doesn't work.
32:39 - As we approach the High Holidays, so much of our focus is on fixing our speech, making sure we don't spread rumors, gossip etc. How do we create comedy that incorporates our aim to use speech more carefully?
37:40 - We talk about the Pew study. But only briefly. Because enough already.
38:40 - Right before we end, we talk more about Monty Python, and I tell a joke that goes nowhere.
I'll be hosting (and occasionally livetweeting) more of these in the future - ELI on Air (#ELITalks on Twitter) happens every Thursday at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific (unless otherwise scheduled) - join us live with your questions, and/or subscribe to the YouTube channel, and listen at your leisure.