World-Renowned Graphic Designer Milton Glaser Has a Laugh on Old Jews Telling Jokes

Old Jews Telling Jokes: as Youtube series go, this one has a cer­tain con­cep­tu­al puri­ty. That its videos have become very pop­u­lar indeed won’t come as a sur­prise to any­one who grew up in a large Jew­ish fam­i­ly; you want a joke told right, you go to the top of the fam­i­ly tree. We’ve seen jokes told by den­tistsbusi­ness­men and even the likes of lawyer and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor Alan Der­showitz and for­mer New York City may­or Ed Koch. Above you’ll see “I Want to Have a Mon­key,” one of the series’ jokes told by graph­ic design­er and New York mag­a­zine co-founder Mil­ton Glaser, cre­ator of logos for DC Comics, the Brook­lyn Brew­ery, and of course, in the form of the uni­ver­sal­ly rec­og­nized I ♥ NY, his city. You can learn more about his 60-year design career in the short doc­u­men­tary by Hill­man Cur­tis just below:

Unlike most of the videos’ stars, who stand in front of a stan­dard white back­ground, Glaser tells his jokes in a more inter­est­ing set­ting: his long­time office, of which you’ll see more in Cur­tis’ doc­u­men­tary. When the Old Jews Telling Jokes crew turned up, they found in this force of graph­ic design a ver­i­ta­ble fount of punch­lines. He demon­strates his comedic acu­men in eight oth­er episodes: “The Res­ur­rect­ing Rab­bi,” “Magi­cian and a Sledge­ham­mer,” “Two Gar­men­tos,” “Edward R. Mur­row,” “Am I Thirsty,” “Ele­phant and Croc­o­dile,” “I’d Like to Be Cas­trat­ed,” and “The Par­rot.” Here we have anoth­er les­son to take from our elders, or at least from this spe­cif­ic elder: you can’t just rise to and remain for decades at the very top of your exot­ic and chal­leng­ing field. You’ve also got to have good tim­ing.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Most “Intel­lec­tu­al Jokes”: Our Favorite Open Cul­ture Read­er Sub­mis­sions

Sketch­es of Artists by the Late New Media Design­er Hill­man Cur­tis

Mick­ey Mouse In Viet­nam: The Lost Anti-War Ani­ma­tion from 1968

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on lit­er­a­ture, film, cities, Asia, and aes­thet­ics. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­lesA Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

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