Weekly Schmooze: A 'Lonely Island' milestone

JPost column on hottest Jewish news: HBO's Jewish "Girls," Groucho Marx visit's Hitler's bunker.

May 17, 2012 14:53
2 minute read.
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Happy 100th digital short, Lonely Island! Saturday Night Live's singing trio – Andy Samberg, Jorma Taconne and Akiva Schaffer – put together a musical tribute to their many comedic triumphs. The (somewhat NSFW) clip features Justin Bieber pretending to be Schaffer, Justin Timberlake with his privates in a box, Michael Bolton as Captain Jack Sparrow, a special guest appearance by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and finally, Natalie Portman gangsta-rapping about her baby.

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Speaking of Jewish comedians, Mental Floss magazine published an interesting anecdote about Groucho Marx. In 1958, Groucho went on a tour of Europe with a friend and his 12-year-old daughter, Melinda. Groucho took Melinda to see Dormum, Germany, where his mother had been born. There, he discovered that the Jewish section of the cemetery had been destroyed, and could not find burial records for his grandparents and other relatives. Days later, Groucho had his chauffer drive the group to the bunker where Hitler committed suicide. When they arrived, Groucho climbed to the top of the rubble, and danced the Charleston in defiance. The next morning, he left Germany.

A very Jewish TV show has had critics buzzing in America – Girls. The HBO series, which shows the college experience of four women in their twenties living in New York, is written, produced and stars Jewish indie ingénue 25-year-old Lena Dunham and is executive-produced by Judd Apatow. Most of the central characters are Jewish, such as main character Hannah's obnoxious sort-of boyfriend Adam, her friend the naïve JAP Shoshanna, and presumably Shoshanna's cousin Jessa. This week, Zosia Mamet, daughter of acclaimed playwright David Mamet, who plays Shoshanna, told Conan O'Brien how realistic the series is.

There have been several waves of criticism in Israel of actors, singers and other celebrities who did not serve in the IDF – but this may be the first time a US film director has waved the mandatory-draft flag. Israeli entertainment reporter Jason Danino-Holt interviewed Battleship director Peter Berg, who, after pontificating on the Iranian nuclear program, proceeded to call Danino-Holt a draft-dodger and tell him he'd better join the army. (Danino-Holt was exempt from IDF service for health reasons.) At least Berg admits that the Iran-Israel conflict is much more important than the movie Battleship.

In other movie news, a trailer has been released for Gangster Squad, in which Sean Penn plays real-life Jewish Los Angeles mafia kingpin Mickey Cohen with a silly-looking fake nose and a thick, cheesy Brooklyn accent. Ryan Gosling plays a cop that sleeps with Cohen's girlfriend, Emma Stone.

The Weekly Schmooze collects the hottest Jewish culture news from around the world. Ranging from celebrities to philanthropy to quirky communities, we're here to schmooze about Jews. If you have any news to share with The Weekly Schmooze, write to:weeklyschmooze@gmail.com

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