The Shmooze

Watch Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson Sing Hanukkah Songs

By Nathan Burstein

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Movie stars do all kinds of silly things to promote their films — including singing Hanukkah songs and discussing gefilte fish on MTV.

Scarlett Johansson and Matt Damon both proved good sports during interviews with the channel’s Josh Horowitz this week, gamely playing along during a segment entitled “After Hours Chanukah Special.”

They were visiting MTV to talk about “We Bought a Zoo,” the Cameron Crowe-directed movie opening today, but ended up getting their knowledge tested on a range of Jewish trivia, including proper usage of the word “chutzpah” — both did better than GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann — as well as their thoughts on Jewish foods. (Johansson defended gefilte fish, though she admitted it’s “an acquired taste.”)

Johansson, whose mother is Jewish, displayed a dose of Jewish guilt at the start of the quiz, nervously joking that her “grandfather’s rolling over in his grave.” But she and Damon acquitted themselves quite nicely during the singing portion of the session — with the non-Jewish Damon even singing a second Hanukkah song just for fun.


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