The Shmooze

Jimmy Kimmel Sued for Mixing Up Rabbis

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share

Maybe Jimmy Kimmel thought all rabbis look alike.

Reuters reported last week that ABC’s late-night funnyman has been hit with a lawsuit by a Brooklyn Jew whose likeness Kimmel featured in a “Jimmy Kimmel Live” parody video. In a sketch that aired in August, Kimmel spoofed a visit that basketball superstar LeBron James had made to so-called “rabbi to the stars” Yishayahu Yosef Pinto. In the segment, “Kimmel told viewers that he too had met with the rabbi, and then showed a video edited to make it seem that Kimmel was listening to an Orthodox Jew blathering incoherently in Yiddish,” according to Gothamist.com. But the punim in the video actually belonged to one Dovid Sandek of Borough Park — also known as “the flying Rabbi,” Gothamist said, “though he’s not technically a rabbi.”

Sondek is, however, a minor celebrity on sites like YouTube, Facebook, and even FrumTube, where videos like The Flying Rabbi Dovid Sandek Talks Chassidus have become hits.

Reuters reported that “Rabbi Sondik is now suing Kimmel and ABC for falsely portraying his voice, picture and likeness as the voice, picture and likeness of Rabbi Pinto,” claiming Sondik “was made to look foolish and presented as a laughingstock.”

He claims unspecified damages for the alleged misappropriation of likeness. The lawsuit claims the Kimmel show spliced together images of the host in his car with an existing video of Sondik that producers probably found on YouTube. The dustup doesn’t seem to have hurt the Flying Rabbi’s popularity; three of his YouTube clips have topped 5,000 views.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Rabbis, Lebron James, Jmmy Kimmel, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Flying Rabbi, Sondek, Yishayahu Yosef Pinto



Find us on Facebook!
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.