Zaydes Say The Darndest Things: Web Site Lets Alter Kakers Crack Wise

Old people are funny. It’s true. For proof, check out Old Jews Telling Jokes.

Launched in late January, the site was cooked up by Sam Hoffman, a New York-based shorts director who’s also served as an assistant director to Wes Anderson, Woody Allen, Tim Robbins, Brian DePalma and others. It is exactly what you’d think it is: online videos of 60-plus-year-old Jews telling their best jokes. The short portraits are shot in a New Jersey studio and posted every Tuesday and Thursday.

As Mr. Hoffman explained in a Jan. 22 blog post:

Jokes are like stories, but shorter and funnier. Old jokes tend to have a stigma, but they only last if they’re good. Some of the best ones provide a window to the culture of a bygone era. They can reveal the concerns of a generation or even the generation before. Anxieties of coming to a new country, of prospering, of assimilating, of having families, of fearing and worrying about, well, everything. Humor was and is the ultimate anti-depressant.

My father gathered twenty of his friends to share their favorite jokes. We set three rules for the production: the joke-tellers were to be Jewish, at least sixty years of age and they were to tell their favorite joke—the one that always kills. Here, you will find them, Old Jews Telling Jokes.

Check out knee slappers from Larry “Moose” Donsky, who was a catcher for a Coney Island League baseball team and worked in the garment district. Or Louis Goldstein, a U.S. Marine who served in the 1950s and “still looks like he could kick your ass.” Mr. Hoffman’s mom drops the F-bomb in the most recent video, posted above.

The videos are produced by Jetpack Media, an Internet content production company under Greene Street Films, a New York-based independent TV and film production and finance company with credits including Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion, and Invisible Woman from Cloverfield’s director Matt Reeves.

Jetpack Media’s president and digital media guru Eric Spiegelman is a producer on the videos and told The Observer in an email that there will be a second “season” of Old Jews Telling Jokes once all of Mr. Hoffman’s dad’s friends deliver their punchlines. He said they hope to feature “old Jews” from New York, Los Angeles and “probably somewhere in Florida too,” he wrote. “My dad keeps asking me, when does he get to do it.”

“We hoped this would appeal to the 68 million+ baby boomers online, but we’ve been getting a lot of links from sites associated with a much younger demographic,” Mr. Spiegelman wrote, including Boing Boing and several Tumblr blog links.

So will Old Jews Telling Jokes eventually become a TV series or film? “Our primary focus is putting these online and finding a sponsor,” he went on. “If someone wants to license them for television or release a DVD compilation, they should drop me an email!”

Zaydes Say The Darndest Things: Web Site Lets Alter Kakers Crack Wise