The Shmooze

Real Kramer Sues 'Seinfeld' Writer — Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

By Anne Cohen

Photo: Getty Images

If you’re a “Seinfeld” fan, you may have shouted “Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” a couple of times. It’s just one of those lines that has stuck from the show, much like, “Big Salad,” “Yada Yada,” or “These pretzels are making me thirsty!”

You might also argue that there is genuinely nothing wrong with repeating lines from the show.

Kenny Kramer disagrees. The real-life inspiration for Kramer filed a $1 million defamation lawsuit against “Seinfeld” writer Fred Stoller and Skyhorse Publishing last December for writing in his memoir, “Maybe We’ll Have You Back,” that guides on Kramer’s Manhattan tour buses drive through Greenwich Village pointing out gay people and yelling — you guessed it — “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Now, Stoller’s lawyer David Pierce is arguing that the case should be tossed out because, as the New York Daily News put it, “the line is ironic.”

Besides, Pierce added, because the buses are air-conditioned, the windows are always closed — so the passerby couldn’t possibly be insulted by comments they don’t hear. Duh.

“It’s not ironic. It’s insulting to a lot of people, ” Kramer’s lawyer, Fred Lichtmacher, replied in a hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court on Wednesday.

What he’s accused of is a disgusting, hateful thing,” Lichtmacher added. “This thing (the bus company) has his name all over it. This is a situation that can destroy this man’s business because no body wants to get on his bus if his reputation is as a gay basher.”

Manhattan Supreme Court judge Barbara Jaffe will rule on the motion to dismiss in the coming weeks.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: lgbt, seinfeld, kramer, jewish, fred stoller

Sarah Silverman Donates Her Voice to Keshet

By Jana Banin

(JTA) — Attention all Bostonians looking for a good, old-fashioned, R-rated outgoing voicemail message: Sarah Silverman and Keshet, an organization that advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Jews, might be able to help. Attendees of the Keshet Cabaret on March 27 will have the opportunity to bid on a personal voicemail from the raunchy comedienne, The Boston Globe reports.

This isn’t the first time Silverman has donated her voice to Beantown-related cause. Last April an outgoing voicemail message from Silverman was a prize in a raffle held by the Boston Marathon Relief Fund.

And as you can see here, she has plenty of other voicemail experience, too.

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Zachary Quinto Talks 'Star Trek,' Spock And Coming Out

By Reuters

Getty Images
Zachary Quinto

LOS ANGELES - Actor Zachary Quinto has transitioned swiftly from a television villain into an unlikely action film star in J.J Abrams’ rebooted “Star Trek” franchise, playing the series’ most recognizable half-Vulcan, Spock.

The 35-year-old actor, who gained fame as super-villain Sylar in sci-fi television series “Heroes,” will reprise his role as the pointy-eared first officer of the starship Enterprise in “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which will be released in theaters on Friday.

The actor spoke about the challenges of playing Spock and why he chose to go public about being gay.

Q: “Star Trek Into Darkness” has more action, set pieces and destinations than the 2009 reboot. Is that right?

A: You’re right. It’s a larger scale version of the “Star Trek” story. The first one was about re-conceiving people’s perceptions of “Star Trek,” and trying to infuse it with new energy. The self-contained and more intimate nature of that film made sense. Now, people are more familiar with us as these characters so this movie builds on that and expands on it.

Q: What is Spock struggling with in this film?

A: I think he’s learning how to be accountable and responsible to the people he loves and cares about. He is learning to embody and live the qualities of what it means to be a friend and what it means to be responsible to other people emotionally, because that’s not the place from which he leads. He needs to learn how to integrate that part of himself and honor the feelings he has for the people he loves.

Q: What do you learn from Spock on a personal level?

A: I have an inherent understanding to his nature, which is one of duality - the head versus the heart. That is certainly something I can relate to. As someone who has been considered pretty intellectual and wordy, I also have a deep well of emotional life. I understand what it means to be in constant relationship to both of those aspects of myself.

Q: Which of Spock’s qualities do you aspire for yourself?

A: The equanimity with which he deals with every situation in front of him, and the thoughtfulness and care he gives to measure his reactions. Sometimes I can be a little extreme in my reaction to something. I respect his reservedness and pensive consideration, which is an aspect of me but outweighed by my instinctual or impulsive reactions to things sometimes.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: spock, lgbt, jj abrams, jewish, heroes, gay, coming out, star trek, zachary quinto

Grindr To Donate Revenue In Support Of Surrogacy In Israel

By Anne Cohen

A Wider Bridge

Grindr, the popular gay mobile app, has announced that it will be donating 100% of all revenue from new subscribers to Grindr Extra this week to Israeli couple Yuval and Liran, as part of their Grindr for Equality world campaign.

“I read about Yuval and Liran’s emotional personal story and was impressed by their creativity in pursuing their dream of fatherhood, and their persistence, recruiting international celebrities such as Joan Rivers, to help raise awareness that in so many parts of the world the joy of parenthood and other aspects of family are still not available to gays who are not equals in the eye of the law.” Joel Simkhai, Israeli-born CEO and founder of Grindr said in a statement.

“We at Grindr believe in giving back to the gay community that’s been so loyal to us and made us the #1 dating app for gays. With our ability to reach millions of users, Grindr is in a unique position to provide real and meaningful assistance within the community and advance the cause of our community worldwide.”

The story of Yuval and Liran, an Israeli couple who have been trying to have a kid via surrogacy for the past two years and lost most of their money, in the process went viral after the couple filmed themselves holding up signs criticizing Israeli surrogacy laws, which they see as discriminatory against gay couples. A number of Israeli celebrities supported their cause by photographing themselves holding up similar signs, stating “We want them to have a baby too,”

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: LGBT, Surrogacy, Joan Rivers, Israel, A Wider Bridge, Fashion Police, Grindr

Lesbian Fan Asks Mila Kunis To Her College Dance

By Anne Cohen

Getty Images
Mila Kunis

What is it with Mila Kunis and loving propositions from fans?

Apparently Mila wasn’t the only one charmed by BBC Radio 1 reporter, Chris Stark, whose debut interview garnered over 10.5 million views on Youtube after the clip went viral. Kirsten Ariel Bledsoe, a senior at Hollins University in Virginia, was so inspired by Stark’s performance that she decided to ask the actress out herself — to her college cotillion.

In a video put together by Bledsoe and a friend, she says:

“I would really like to go out with a bang - or I would really like to go out with you. It’s my senior year in college; it’s my last school dance, so I figured I’d ask someone who’s never been to a school dance with a willing date before. So, just let me know, and I’ll bring the Blue Moon, and you just bring yourself,” Bledsoe told her celebrity crush in the video.

“I am gay. Any attention the video gets is a great way to highlight LGBTQ awareness in a rural Southern state,Bledsoe explained in an interview with The Daily Beast.

“I don’t know if Mila will say yes if the video reaches her. I do think that if she chooses to acknowledge it she will be kind and funny if not willing to go. The biggest conflict, I think, would be her busy schedule,”

So, why Mila?

“She is very grounded, and she is always herself. She is private, but she is real. She has a great sense of humor, and, you know, she isn’t bad looking either,” Bledsoe gushed.

Will she? Won’t she? We can’t wait to find out!

In the meantime, watch the video below (and take some notes — this is golden dating advice):

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Jewish Paper Stands Up to Anti-Gay Bullies

By Michael Kaminer

The Jewish Press, a Brooklyn-based weekly tabloid with a strong religious focus, is standing its ground after its advertisers were “threatened” by unnamed groups who objected to a recent op-ed by a gay ex-Hasid.

That story, by a young man named Chaim Levin, revealed “bullying, silencing, and torment for being gay in the frum community”, forced therapy sessions aimed at changing his sexual orientation – and pressure in his Orthodox milieu that nearly led Levin to suicide.

In an op-ed this week headlined “The Jewish Press Won’t Be Silenced,” the paper’s editorial board thanked “our advertisers who have notified us that they plan to continue with us despite the threatening letters and that they won’t give into threats either, particularly when an article like this one may very well have saved a Jewish life.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: LGBT, Gay, Change.org, Chaim Levin, Bullying, TruthWinsOut

Sarah Silverman Gets the Ax

By Elissa Strauss

Looks like there will be no follow up to “Wowshwitz,” this year’s season finale of “The Sarah Silverman Program,” which just got axed from Comedy Central.

Deadline Hollywood reports that Comedy Central did not renew the show for a fourth season despite a Twitter campaign to keep it alive.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Twitter, Sarah Silverman, Sarah Polley, LGBT, Comedy Central, Bedwetter, Viacom




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