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New Yorker Cartoonist David Sipress: “What’s So Funny?”

May 7 • 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Virtual Event Virtual Event
$12 – $29

David Sipress, staff cartoonist for “The New Yorker” since 1998, shares illustrations and stories from his masterful memoir, “What’s So Funny?” in this virtual presentation. Sipress’ wry and brilliantly observed prose and cartoons explore his life growing up the child of overprotective, anxious Jewish immigrants on New York’s Upper West Side in the 1950s and ‘60s, and how cartooning gave him an outlet to persevere and rebel from his complicated upbringing.

Part of the J’s Chew on This! Speaker Series, featuring authors, chefs, and thought-leaders to feed your mind, soul, and palate.


Book + Ticket Bundle: $29 (includes ticket + shipping)
Talk only: $15 | $12 seniors 65+, students
(book retails $27.99)

Buy Tickets

Ticket sales close and streaming link emailed 1 hour prior to program start time.

About the Book

David Sipress’ mem­oir “What’s So Fun­ny?” mas­ter­ful­ly show­cas­es a sam­pling of his car­toons and their back­sto­ries in this enter­tain­ing, poignant, and some­times painful book about his complicated Jewish immigrant family and growing up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side dur­ing the 1950s and ’60s. The son of a proud own­er of the pres­ti­gious Revere Jew­el­ers and a migraine-prone moth­er, and brother to a moody, mean-spir­it­ed sis­ter, Sipress found solace in draw­ing and storytelling dur­ing his child­hood. The author relates sto­ries of his father’s divest­ment from his immi­grant sta­tus to forge a new life. His moth­er, once an inde­pen­dent woman, was in a constant state of wor­ry and angst. It was a house of secrets, rules, and taboo sub­jects. In cartooning, Sipress found a way to per­se­vere and rebel, dropping out of Har­vard to the great dis­may of his par­ents to pur­sue his car­toon­ing, strug­gling for years before get­ting his first “New York­er” car­toon pub­lished.

“What’s So Fun­ny?” is an hon­est and enjoy­able read by a brainy, often self-dep­re­cat­ing, author. Sipress dis­clos­es how the insights gleaned find their way into his per­cep­tive car­toons to tem­per and clar­i­fy the trag­ic and bizarre events of his life and every­one else’s lives—the events that make us laugh and cry.

About the Author

David Sipress has been staff car­toon­ist for “The New York­er” since 1998, where he has pub­lished near­ly 700 car­toons. He lec­tures wide­ly on car­toon­ing, and his auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal writ­ing appeared fre­quent­ly on newyork​er​.com.

Event Details + Box Office Policies

  • Patrons will receive a reminder email with event details and a livestream link one (1) hour before showtime. Ticketed patrons will also receive a recording of the conversation.
  • Facility and processing fees apply at checkout
  • Patrons agree to all SJCC terms and conditions above and at SJCC Box Office + Venue Policies page.
  • Book purchasers will be notified when books will be shipped after the program.

Need Help?
Contact BoxOffice@sjcc.org | 206-388-0833 (email is best for a quick response!)
(response time: 24 hrs weekdays-48 hrs weekends)

Visit SJCC Arts + Ideas Box Office for full list of policies.


May 7
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
$12 – $29
Event Categories:
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Virtual SJCC Event
Mercer Island, WA 98040 United States
View Venue Website


Stroum JCC
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Event Partners:
Jewish Book Council