Birthright Israel. That lovely trip where Jewish young adults from around the world see the sights of their homeland… and watch their tour guide get blown up in a minefield? Popular Israeli sketch comedy show Eretz Nehederet spoofed Birthright in its season premiere last week, with overly-enthusiastic Jersey girls screaming "woooo!" at everything, including Yad Vashem, obnoxious frat boys in trucker hats and Israelis asking for donations at every opportunity.
In American humor, How I Met Your Mother star Jason Segel won the Harvard Hasting Pudding Theatricals' Man of the Year award. The oldest undergraduate drama group in the US recognizes outstanding entertainers – usually comedians – each year, and hosts a parade and roast in their honor. The Hasty Puddings' Woman of the Year is Claire Danes, currently the star of Homeland, which is based on the Israeli TV show Hatufim.
Speaking of How I Met Your Mother stars, Alyson Hannigan is pregnant with her second child. (Yes, Marshall and Lily are both Jewish, and so is Ted!) Her first child, Satyana, came up with some interesting names for the new baby, which Hannigan made sure to tweet: Coco for a girl, and Gaguzzi for a boy. "It sounds like Jacuzzi," Satyana, who is almost three years old, said. Sounds like a perfectly reasonable name.
Actor Ben Stiller and acclaimed author Jonathan Safran Foer are collaborating on a new TV show called All Talk for HBO, which will fill the coveted Jewish niche for the premium cable channel. Foer wrote the series, which is about a “politically, religiously, culturally, intellectually and sexually irreverent” Jewish family living in Washington DC. Stiller plans to produce, direct and star in the show, and Alan Alda is set to co-star. If the last show in which Alda starred is any indication (the legendary and long-lived M*A*S*H), All Talk could be a big hit. The series starts shooting in the fall.
In other casting news, Glee star Dianna Agron is rumored to be a top contender to fill the stiletto heels of Sarah Jessica Parker in a TV prequel to Sex and the City. The new show, based on Candace Bushnell's Carrie Diaries books about Carrie Bradshaw as a teen, is looking for someone to play the sex columnist when she was a struggling writer in the 1980s. Agron reportedly has stiff competition from Miley Cyrus, who has also said he would love to play Bradshaw.
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