(JTA) — Sacha Baron Cohen is in early talks to join Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland 2,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
If it all goes through, he’ll appear alongside Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska, who both starred in the first film as the Mad Hatter and Alice, respectively. The sequel is set to be released over Memorial Day weekend of 2016.
Guess who Sarah Silverman hung out with last night?
A nice Jewish boy named Jesus Christ. Yes, that Jesus.
It seems that Jesus is a little upset about how his name is being used in the national discussion about women’s reproductive rights (or “intolerance and oppression,” as Silverman puts it), and wants Sarah to spread his message.
In a new video released on her Youtube channel,” Silverman, wearing a t-shirt that literally screams “Feminist,” remembers her night with Jesus — ending with a cozy session on the couch watching “NCIS.”
Oh, and they also talked about the mystery of life, and at what point life actually begins.
“At 40!” Jesus laughed. “Fertilized eggs aren’t people, people are people.”
Wait, there’s more: “But people who believe fertilized eggs are people are people too. You have to love them. You’re not better than them.”
Wise words. Jesus is pretty convincing.
But don’t worry guys, Sarah isn’t going anywhere (even if she did wear a cross that one time). The segment ends with Jesus massaging her back (!), cooing“That’s a good Jewish girl!”
Check it out:
All that dancing around to “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” in “Saving Mr. Banks” seems to have given B.J. Novak a taste for children’s literature.
The Jewish actor and TV writer, who plays composer/lyricist Bob Sherman in the movie about the making of “Mary Poppins,” has signed with Penguin Young Readers Group to do a children’s book called “The Book with No Pictures.”
I am very happy to announce my first kids' book, "The Book With No Pictures," which Penguin will publish in Sept! http://t.co/ePY9ABfa3Oampmdash; B.J. Novak (@bjnovak) January 21, 2014
Scheduled for release in 2014, the book is exactly as advertised: a book without pictures. Per the publisher: it “turns the notion of the [format] on its head.”
“I wanted to write a book that would introduce the youngest of kids to the idea that words can be their allies — that the right words can be as fun, exciting, and ridiculous as any pictures,” Novak explained. “Also, I can’t draw.”
A sparkling gem of the New York Jewish Film Festival is the U.S. premiere of the restored Joseph Green-Konrad Tom’s 1938 Yiddish film “Mamele.”
Starring Molly Picon, the 5-foog-tall, 100 lb. phenom of Yiddish stage and screen, the film is set in Poland’s textile hub of Lodz, but was shot in just six weeks on a Warsaw back lot.
Picon’s character Khavtsi, a daughter of a ne’er do well widower, is dubbed “mamele” (little mother) as she tirelessly caters to a seven-strong, unappreciative and demanding family. A Yiddish Cinderella, Picon shops, schleps, cooks, cleans, dreams of love and is the ”go to” person when someone has a problem — be it romance, or rescuing a youngster caught up in a shady scheme.
The setting is urban, the young men and women are 1930s fashionably dressed. There is nightclubbing, drinking, double-dealing, and– a handsome sweet musician across the courtyard. As tireless as the Energizer bunny, Picon is so delicious and quirky, you want to give her a knip in bekl (pinch her cheek).
In a dreamlike montage, she morphs — in stages — from a dancing little girl to a frail 78-year old dancing with her fingers and bobbing her head. Picon also launches the hit song “Abi Gezunt” (as long as you are healthy) which has become a standard for Yiddish performers down the decades. As for the romantic finale — it involves a scene-stealing ketzele (kitten) which will have cat lovers purring.
Drake hosted “Saturday Night Live” this week — and it was pretty great.
In his opening monologue, the Jewish Canadian rapper harkened back to his bar mitzvah from 1999, focusing (successfully) on having a Jewish mother and a black father. SNL cast member Vanessa Bayer (known for her role in the original and recurring Bar Mitzvah Boy skit) played his mother and Jay Pharaoh played his father.
After talking about his hometown, “the city of Toronto: where the rappers are polite, and the mayor smokes crack,” and waxing nostalgic about his “Degrassi” past (do we detect a hint of embarrassment?), Drake launched into the skit with the fairly straightforward: “Here’s another fun fact. I’m Jewish.”
Warning: the sight of Drake in a kippah may just make your heart explode. Check out the segment below:
The Internet almost exploded last week when someone snapped a picture of Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander walking into Tom’s Restaurant, the inspiration for “Seinfeld“‘s Monk’s diner.
As expected, the rumor mill started running at warp speed: Was it a promo stunt for “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”? Were just they craving a Big Salad? Is a “Seinfeld” reunion in the works?
Jonah Hill may be a two-time Academy Award-nominated actor — how did that even happen? — but that hasn’t helped his love life.
On the most recent episode of The Graham Norton Show to promote “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Hill was asked to tell the story about the time he “tried to have sexytime on a plane.”
Hill insisted that was not the case, explaining that he actually fell in love with his seatmate on the flight, a tragic tale which ended in heartbreak, and no deals being sealed.
Celebrities, they’re just like us — but not really. Mazel tov on the nomination Jonah! Our fingers are crossed.
Check out the video below (skip to the one-minute mark for the story):
“Generation War” (a hit in Germany as “Our Mothers Our Fathers”) is a must see for those who view World War II /Holocaust films as a kind of cinematic rosary of remembrance.
With a Tolstoyan “War & Peace” sweep, its brutal battles as bloody and grim as those in Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan,” it is also a nod to the wrenching 1987 Byelorussian Holocaust film “Come and See.” The film’s author Stefan Kolditz, noted that he wanted the film to “open a conversation with the generation that lived during World War II in Germany.”
“Generation” follows a quintet of friends — brothers Wilhelm (Volker Bruch) and Friedheim (Tom Schilling), Charlotte (Miriam Stein), Greta (Katharina Schuttler), and assimilated Jew Victor (Ludwig Trepte) who greets everyone with an anachronistic glitch — “Shalom” — with them, in turn, replying the same —this in 1940s Nazi Germany ‘s Berlin!
Every week, Joan Rivers has a one night stand with the celebrity of her choice.
We’re talking, obviously, about “In Bed With Joan,” (what did you have in mind?) Rivers’ online talk show which shows her dishing with fellow entertainers between the sheets.
This week, Shiri Appleby (“Roswell,” “Girls,” Chicago Fire”) joined Joan for what we could only hope would be some Jewish girl talk.
Strangely, that’s exactly what happened.
Rivers opened the episode by commenting on how confused people must be by the spelling of Appleby’s first name (“So how many people have called you Sherry?”). Somehow, this led to a discussion about the Hebrew meaning of Joan — which according to River, means “whiner” — and Shiri, which means “my song.”
“My parents said I was like the song in their hearts,” Appleby explained. “Until I turned into a teenager.”
As it turns out, Appleby is quite the funny lady. Other gems include:
On not naming her child Ira: “You’re just not going to have sex with Ira Shook.”
On her fiancee: “We’re both Jews. He’s a very cute Jewish cook… One of our first meals, he came over to my house and taught my mom how to make latkes.”
For more on Shiri’s new baby, her Jewish background (her mom is a Hebrew teacher) and what Joan really thinks of Lena Dunham, check out the video below:
Throwback Thursday (#TBT, for those who don’t know) is the perfect time for celebrities show us (carefully chosen) snippets of their past on Twitter and Facebook. This week, Mayim Bialik wins the cool kid contest with a picture showing a 10-year-old (and too adorable for words) Mayim casually hanging with Cyndi Lauper.
The “Big Bang Theory,” in which Bialik stars as quirky neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler, would probably have a long-winded theory about past encounters influencing future stardom in the cosmic universe of something or other.
We’ll just quote Cyndi and say, “Girls just want to have fun.”
Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the United States, will be a contributor to CNN.
“Michael will be joining CNN as a Middle East contributor,” a spokeswoman for Oren told JTA in a statement.
(JTA) — Forget Hawaii! Newly remarried couple Pamela Anderson and Rick Salomon took an El Al flight straight to Israel after exchanging vows on Sunday. According to The Times of Israel, the former “Baywatch” star and her film producer hubby (of Paris Hilton sex tape fame) are staying in a suite at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. They have already visited the Dead Sea.
Lena Dunham is on the cover of a fashion magazine. And not just any fashion magazine, but the mother of all fashion magazines.
The girl who only days ago was on E!’s Worst Dressed list for her canary yellow Zac Posen dress at the Golden Globes is now on the cover of Vogue.
The “Girls” creator took to Twitter this morning to share the exciting news:
“I’m Palestinian and my roommate is Jewish, so we’re always fighting over where his room starts and mine ends. He pays more rent, but I’ve lived there longer.”
Sammy Obeid’s joke is fifth on the list, with 13.4% approval. As per his Twitter bio, he is a “#Comedian & Writer, as seen on CONAN on TBS & America’s Got Talent – The guy who performed 1,001 consecutive days of comedy #1000daysofcomedy”
Check out the rest of the jokes here.
The Golden Globes — or as I like to call them, the fashion preview for the Oscars.
Sunday night’s award ceremony featured some pretty impressive style choices, from monochromatic beige to serious bling, and the Jewish stars were no exception. Highlights included Zosia Mamet rocking white and black in Reem Acra, Mila Kunis looking smokin” in metallic Gucci, LIZZY CAPLAN (or the Jennifer Lawrence of Jewish girls) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in red hot Narcisso Rodriguez.
But the real barometer for the Shmooze fashion watch is as follows: how does Lena Dunham’s dress rank on the eyebrow-raising scale?
Well, ladies and gentlemen, for once (and only once!) I can announce that I didn’t hate it. See for yourself below:
(JTA) — Scarlett Johansson, faceless in the movie “Her,” has just landed a gig as the face of an Israeli company. According to The New York Times, the Jewish actress has been chosen as SodaStream’s “Global Spokesperson” and will star in its upcoming Super Bowl ad.
In the commercial, airing during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl XLVIII on Fox on Feb. 2, Johansson will show us how the home soda maker works. The point is to ”demonstrate how easy it is, how sexy it is, to make your own soda,” said Daniel Birnbaum, chief executive at SodaStream International.
If you hadn’t yet noticed that Ronan Farrow isn’t a big fan of his dad, this tweet sent during last night’s Golden Globes will set you straight:
Missed the Woody Allen tribute - did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?ampmdash; Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) January 13, 2014
Whoah. No punches held there.
Farrow is referring to Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan, who accused him of molesting her nearly 20 years ago.
In a recent Vanity Fair interview, Dylan, who now goes by another name, described the alleged abuse to special correspondant Maureen Orth. “I’m scared of him, his image.” she said. “I have never been asked to testify. If I could talk to the seven-year-old Dylan, I would tell her to be brave, to testify.”
Allen’s lawyer Elkan Abramowitz told the magazine that the director still denies the allegations.
Allen, 78, was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes on Sunday night. After live tweeting much of the event, Mia Farrow suddenly annouced that she was changing channels — right before the tribute to her estranged spouse:
Time to grab some icecream & switch over to #GIRLSampmdash; mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) January 13, 2014
At the year-end meeting of NAHOS, the National Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, the subject was child survivors —from toddlers to teenagers — presented by Anna Andlauer, author of “The Rage to Live: The International D.P, Children’s Center Kloster Inderdorf 1945-46.”
An SRO event at Park East Synagogue, the spellbound audience listened as Andlauer — who recalled her parents’ “stories of prisoners working on their farm”— detailed the restorative work at the UN-established center at the Bavarian Convent of the Merciful Sisters in Bavaria, which sheltered young Holocaust survivors. There was an ironic gasp when Andlauer informed, “at the Kloster, Nazi flag material was transformed into clothing and bed linen.”
In a one-hour recitative, Andlauer revealed “The first year, 613 [!] were treated from more than 20 nationalities — ranging from toddlers to [age] 14. There was Walter who survived two years in an underground cave in Ukraine, there were children who had worked in German arms factories, non-Jewish slave laborers who had to be re-educated and taught Polish to be reunited with their families in Poland.”
“I am a Jew who loves the Pope.”
So writes Kirk Douglas (born Issur Danielovitch) in a column for The Huffington Post’s Religion vertical. The Jewish man who immortalized Spartacus, is apparently a big fan of the new guy ruling over Rome (well, the Vatican).
Double “oops” for Chinese recycling tycoon Chen Guangbiao: After an unsuccessful bid to buy The New York Times (not for sale), the business man gave an interview to a Chinese newspaper saying he has an “equally competent IQ and EQ” as Jews. He also added that he is “very good at working with Jews.” (Good to know)
As expected, the Anti-Defamation League was none too pleased.
“How sad and how deep and how ingrained are the offensive stereotypes about Jewish brains and success in business,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman wrote in a statement. “These stereotypes, plus the false notion that Jews control the U.S. news media, infect even educated and successful people such as Chen Guangbiao.”
Apparently, Abe had long been under the assumption that China, unlike Europe, does not have stereotypes about Jews. “Unfortunately, it seems to be seeping more and more into the mainstream,” Foxman lamented.
Far more likely however, is that Guangbiao throught he was paying the tribe a compliment by striving for our level of intellect. But Foxman has an answer to that too:
“For decades, self-help gurus and widely available books have exhorted the Chinese to emulate the Jews in order to achieve financial success. For the most part, those perpetuating this call believe they are being complimentary about Jews and Jewish success, and have no idea that they are repeating deeply ingrained anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jewish brains and success in business. Given his prominent position, Chen has a responsibility to educate himself – and his countrymen – about the deeply prejudiced roots of these statements.”
Now that he won’t be running the Grey Lady, he should have lots of time to do just that.