The Shmooze

North Korea Threatens War Over Seth Rogen Flick

By Reuters

North Korea on Wednesday denounced a forthcoming American comedy film featuring a plot to assassinate its leader Kim Jong Un as an act of terrorism and threatened to unleash a “merciless counter-measure” if Washington failed to ban the movie.

The movie “The Interview”, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, is scheduled for release in Octoberthis fall.

“Making and releasing a movie on a plot to hurt our top-level leadership is the most blatant act of terrorism and war and will absolutely not be tolerated,” the North’s official KCNA news agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying.

The Hollywood movie recounts the story of a talk show host and his producer who land a rare sit-down interview with Kim, the third leader of his family dynasty to rule North Korea.

The Central Intelligence Agency then recruits the pair to assassinate him.

Rogen responded to North Korea’s threat with a lighthearted tweet:

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Kim Jong-Un Officially Condemns James Franco and Seth Rogen

By Anne Cohen

Seth Rogen and James Franco are wanted men.

But this time, the pair aren’t on the run from scary-but-somewhat-lovable pot dealers a la “Pineapple Express.” Apparently, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has taken offense to the plot of the Jewish comedy duo’s new movie. Since “The Interview” basically sees Rogen and Franco as a television host named Dave Skylark (Franco) and his producer (Rogen) who are enlisted by the CIA to travel to North Korea and assassinate Kim Jong-un, one could see why he would be less than enthusiastic.

A North Korean spokesperson said, “[this] shows the desperation of the US government and American society. A film about the assassination of a foreign leader mirrors what the US has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine. And let us not forget who killed [President John F.] Kennedy – Americans.”

Seth Rogen doesn’t seem too worried though. He hopes the North Korean leader will enjoy the fim:

“The Interview” hits theaters in the fall. Watch the trailer below:

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Seth Rogen: 'Schlubby Jews Aren't The Problem'

By Anne Cohen

Beware of schlubby Jews with beards.

That’s basically what Washington Post critic Ann Hornaday wrote in an piece that called out frat-boy comedies such as the ones produced by Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow for enabling people like Elliot Rodgers, who killed six people near the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus on May 23.

“How many students watch outsized frat-boy fantasies like ‘Neighbors’ and feel, as Rodger did, unjustly shut out of college life that should be full of ‘sex and fun and pleasure’?” Hornaday wrote. “How many men, raised on a steady diet of Judd Apatow comedies in which the shlubby arrested adolescent always gets the girl, find that those happy endings constantly elude them and conclude, ‘It’s not fair’?”

Rogen, who stars in the newly released ‘Neighbors,’ was the first to respond:

Judd Apatow, known for such staples of the genre as “Knocked Up” and “Pineapple Express” also chimed in:

Also on Hornaday’s sh*t list: “American Psycho,” James Bond movies and “The Pick-Up Artist.

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Zac Efron Proves He's Jewish By Unzipping

By Anne Cohen

Zac Efron is Jewish. Really. He can prove it.

In fact, he did.

In a new video for Comedy Central’s “Workaholics,” Efron and Seth Rogen (his co-star in “Neighbors”) interview for a job with Adam (Adam DeVine), Blake (Blake Anderson) and Ders (Anders Holm).

“I think if you add a Jewish person, you’d probably be more edgy because you’d have a minority in your group,” Rogen says, in an effort to play the diversity card.

And then Efron drops the bombshell: Diversity, shmiversity — he’s Jewish too.

The guys then pressure Efron to prove it, chanting: “We’ve got to see that d–k. We’ve got to see that d–k.”

Which he then does, saying: “There, see? Full circumcised.”

Reaction: “Oh my god, it’s amazing. It is f–king gorgeous,” Rogen says. “Did Leonardo Di Vinci circumcise you? It’s beautiful. Your balls have a six-pack! Put it away! Put it away, it’s too nice!”

Watch the full clip above.

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Lighting Up With Seth Rogen: Jewish Edition

By Jana Banin

(JTA) — We just can’t stop talking about Seth Rogen lately! Sorry if you’ve had enough, but this clip from Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” is just too Jew-packed to resist.

Last night the show’s host Andy Cohen got Rogen to play a round of “Spill the Herbal Tea,” in which the writer, actor and Alzheimer’s advocate was asked to admit which celebs he’d “blazed up with.” Check out the startling results.

James Franco: “It’s depressing for me to say but I’ve never smoked weed with James Franco, because he doesn’t smoke weed!” Paul Rudd: Yes, lots of times.

Sarah Silverman: Ditto.

Snoop Dogg: Naturally.

Barbra Streisand: “No, but we talked a lot about it a lot.” That said, Rogen did reveal that the diva has smoked with Peter Sellers.

Jonah Hill: Yep.

Willie Nelson: No, but believe it or not, Cohen has. Mazel!

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Seth Rogen Testifies on Alzheimer's Before Empty Senate

By Anne Cohen

Seth Rogen took a trip down to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to testify at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing titled “The Rising Cost of Alzheimer’s in America.” The actor spoke about how the disease has impacted his own family. (WATCH the livestream here.)

The actor and director is a celebrity spokesman and fundraiser for the National Alzheimer’s Association, a role he took on after his mother-in-law was diagnosed in her 50s.

Rogen began his speech admitting his ignorance about the disease: “My impression of Alzheimer’s was probably what I assume most people’s impression is,” he said. “I thought it was something only like really, really old people got, and I thought the way the disease primarily showed itself was in the form of forgotten keys, wearing mismatched shoes and being asked the same question over and over.”

“After forgetting who she and her loved ones were, my mother-in-law, a teacher for 35 years, then forgot how to speak, feed herself, dress herself and go to the bathroom herself,” he continued. “All by the age of 60.”

Rogen ended the speech on a strong note, calling on the government to do more for those suffering from the debilitating disease. “Americans whisper the word ‘Alzheimer’s’ because their government whispers the word ‘Alzheimer’s,’” he said. “It needs to be yelled and screamed to the point that it finally gets the attention and the funding that it deserves and needs.”

Unfortunately for Rogen, there were very little people present to hear his rallying cry — only a handful of senators were present at the hearing.

Disappointed at the lack of interest for the cause, the actor didn’t pull any punches.

And our personal favorite:

With Jana Banin, JTA.

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Joan Rivers Makes Her 'Tonight Show' Comeback

By Jana Banin

(JTA) — Monday Night marked Jimmy Fallon’s debut as host of “The Tonight Show.” It was also the first time Joan Rivers, among the parade of stars who took the stage to settle a $100 debt, appeared on the show in over 25 years. Even more monumental: It was the 49th anniversary of her first-ever “Tonight Show” appearance, on Feb. 17 1965.

“It’s about time!” Rivers said in a statement of her return, per The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve been sitting in a taxi outside NBC with the meter running since 1987.”

Rivers was banned from the show by Johnny Carson after leaving her gig as his permanent guest host to helm Fox’s “The Late Show With Joan Rivers,” a competitor.

“Being in the studio brought back the most wonderful, wonderful memories of the night that jump-started my career,” she said. “So when people ask me, ‘Why was last night different from all other nights?’ I’ll tell them that it certainly beats Passover!”

See Rivers’ big comeback (plus Seth Rogen, Tina Fey, Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan, and many more) right here.

Photo credit: Getty Images.

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Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt Making a Christmas Movie

By Anne Cohen

Three Jews walk into a Christmas movie…

This actually isn’t a joke. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen have announced that they are working on an “Untitled Xmas Comedy,” directed by Jonathan Levine.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the most Jewish of Christmas films will tell the heartwarming tale of three childhood best friends who reunite in New York City for their annual tradition of going out on Christmas Eve.

The third lead role has yet to be cast, but fingers crossed for another member of the tribe!

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What Did Jewish Celebrities Do For Christmas?

By Anne Cohen

For Jews, Christmas is a time to switch off, relax, be first in line to see the Christmas blockbuster releases and eat Chinese food by the soft glow of the TV. And in this case, celebrities really are just like us — how did your favorite Jewish stars celebrate Christmas? Find out:

Sarah Silverman sent good wishes.


Seth Rogen binged on TV.


Elizabeth Banks enjoyed winter views.

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Watch Seth Rogen Play a Shirtless Kim Kardashian

By Anne Cohen

So, if you’re not already aware, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West released a music video last week for the rapper’s song, “Bound 2,” which showed them engaging in some steamy business on a motorcycle.

It looked like this:

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So, Zac Efron Went to Rehab

By Anne Cohen

Getty Images
Zac Efron

Apparently, America’s favorite squeaky clean celebrity spent some time in rehab this year.

According to E!News, the 25-year-old actor completed treatment roughly five months ago for what was initially thought to be alcohol abuse. But sources told TMZ that Efron, set to star as a frat boy in Seth Rogen’s upcoming film “Neighbors,” was actually seeking treatment for cocaine addiction.

“It was common knowledge he was struggling with cocaine,” one source told TMZ. Three other sources backed up the claims and added that Efron liked to “dabble” with popular rave drug Molly.

TMZ also reported that Efron and friends caused over $50,000 in damages at the Skylofts at the MGM Grand in Vegas while on a cocaine rager.

Zac’s rep has yet to comment on the new allegations.

So far though, it seems he’s out of the woods. “He’s healthy, happy and not drinking,” one source told E! News. “He’s taking time to focus on working.”

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First Taste of the James Franco Roast

By Anne Cohen

Getty Images
James Franco

No doubt about it, James Franco deserves to be roasted. Just trying to settle on a descriptive adjective to qualify his career is parody enough: actor? director? writer? poet? perpetual student?

And do we even need to mention his Oscar hosting performance? The friends and co-stars chosen to speak at the filming of the “Comedy Central Roast of James Franco” last night certainly didn’t hold back.

According to USA Today, the actor/director/ you get the picture, felt pretty good about the whole thing. “It didn’t hurt,” Franco said after the show. “If you’re going to do this kind of thing, you should just be ready for whatever. It’s not like I haven’t heard criticism about my performance in the Oscars. Or jokes about my choice of gay roles.”

Seth Rogen presided over the festivities alongside Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman (to name a few). Almost everyone made some kind of crack about the Oscars.

Jeff Ross, dressed as Franco’s character from “Spring Breakers” left no stone unturned.

“You never really said what was going on that night, man,” he told Franco. “You were like Billy Crystal-meth. You were a worse host than the AIDS monkey. The academy should have known when you combined Anne Hathaway and James Franco you get Anne Franco, which makes sense since you should have gone into hiding after that.”

At the end of the night, Franco appeared onstage to acknowledge his peers, who had spent the last couple of hours shredding him to pieces. “What a weird night,” he said. “I do think this is my punishment for the Oscars,” he added. “America and the rest of the world can have a cathartic moment after this airs.”

Too bad Anne Hathaway wasn’t picked to host this round — surely she still has some feelings left to vent.

The roast will air Sept. 2 at 10 ET/PT, on Comedy Central. For a little taste, check out some teaser photos released by Franco via Instagram.

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Jonah Hill Is No Fun

By Anne Cohen

Getty Images
Jonah Hill

After a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nod for his role in “Moneyball” in 2012, and a cameo in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” Jonah Hill has decided that he is above having fun. No, the 29-year-old is now a “serious actor.”

In an interview with Rolling Stone called “The Doobie Brothers: Lighting Up With The Stars of ‘This Is the End,” Hill and co-stars Seth Rogen, Danny McBride and James Franco were asked to divulge secrets about everything from pot-use, workout routines, and yes, masturbatory habits.

But unlike his co-stars, Hill was unwilling to play along. Asked if he does morning push-ups, he answered: “My workout routine is of little relevance.”

The actors were then asked what kind of farters they were (admittedly, a ridiculous question, but one not unsuited to the fratty bunch who have made their name on raunchy, irreverant comedies like “Superbad” and “Knocked Up”).

Franco went stealth, admitting: “I don’t do it in public, but when I’m at home in bed, I’ll fart! And on a plane, I’ll let it go.” Rogen, known for his frankness, said: “I will say I’m a pretty bad farter from time to time.”

Hill’s eyes, writer Erik Hedegaard described, “nearly jumped out of their sockets.”

“I’m not answering that dumb question! I’m not that kind of person! Being in a funny movie doesn’t make me have to answer dumb questions. It has nothing to do with who I am,” he said.

But the actor was more than willing to address how he has transitioned from comedies to more heavyweight roles.

“I’ve done one of the biggest challenges you can do in Hollywood, which is transition from being a comedic actor to being a serious actor, and I’m really prideful of that,” he explained. “I could have made a billion dollars doing every big comedy of the last 10 years and didn’t, in order to form a whole other life for myself. Now I have fulfillment doing both.”

And he’s modest, too!

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Seth Rogen Teaches Us How To Roll a Joint

By Chavie Lieber

People use Facebook for all sorts of social interactions— “Knocked Up” star Seth Rogen uses it to share his wisdom.

The Jewish celeb joined Facebook earlier this week, and made a video tutorial on how to roll a joint for his social media debut.

Taking to Twitter, Rogen tweeted to his followers, “I finally joined Facebook! To make up for lost time, I made a tutorial vid showing how to roll a CROSS JOINT! Enjoy!” and linked to his Facebook page.

“Rolling a crossjoint isn’t so hard guys. what is hard is posting this after smoking one,” Rogen wrote on his video tutorial. “Now you all have to promise to use this information only for good and never for evil.

Enjoy, my friends.

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Pesach in 140 Characters

By Anne Cohen

Now that you’ve somehow managed to digest all that Seder matzo, it’s time to re-live it all through the eyes of the rich and famous.

Some were early:

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Celebrities Tweet In On Pope

By Anne Cohen

As white smoke poured into the sky above the Sistine Chapel yesterday, the world anxiously waited to hear who the new Pope would be. As always, Twitter provided running commentary.

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Judd Apatow's Tech-Savvy Teen

By Kristi Goldade

Getty Images
Maude and Judd Apatow

“Maude Apatow is addicted to technology, even though she knows it is destroying her,” pronounces the Twitter bio of Maude Apatow.

Remember her? She played Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann (her actual mother)’s daughter in ‘Knocked Up.’ Maude and her little sister were the two giggly blonde girls who teased Seth Rogen, the clueless Daddy-to-be.

Well, she’s sort of grown up — past the pajama party stage at least — and on to nail art, Doc Martins and dissecting the dynamics of girl friendships. At 14, she’s gotten famous enough to snag a New York Times profile last weekend (which compared her favorably to Larry David) and 62,000 followers on Twitter.

With deadpan tweets like, “I think I might get into a fistfight at this bar mitzvah,” the precocious 14-year-old has taken after her funnyman father, Judd Apatow.

And her fan base reaches well beyond her peers. Maude has earned respect from author Judy Blume, who said she felt similar angst and ennui as an adolescent — as well as Zooey Deschanel and the HelloGiggles team, where Maude publishes essays and interviews — “I don’t remember the first time I met Paul Rudd, but I do remember seeing him make my sister cry…”

Mr. Apatow said he hopes his daughter’s success will encourage her to write more. The pair spent this summer filming a sequel to ‘Knocked Up’ called ‘This is 40.’

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Israel Film Festival Opens in L.A.

By Rex Weiner

Getty Images
Jonah Hill

The gala opening of the 26th Israel Film Festival at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles on Thursday night turned into a celebration of Israel’s entertainment industry as translated by Hollywood. Producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, and Showtime President David Nevins of the TV hit series “Homeland,” based on the Israeli series, were honored with an IFF award presented by Homeland star Morena Baccarin. Israel’s Minister of Culture Limor Livnat also hailed the Academy Award nominations of 10 motion pictures from Israel, included the most recent, “Footnote.”

Noting that Iran had nabbed the Best Foreign Language Oscar this year for “The Separation,” Livnat said, “Mark my words — Iran wins over Israel only in the movies!”

Actor Jonah Hill, Oscar-nominated for his role opposite Brad Pitt in “Moneyball,” was honored by the festival with an award presented by Seth Rogen, who took stage and cracked, “Who won for best circumcision?”

“We are very pleased to honor such a dynamic and multi-faceted talent like Jonah Hill,” said festival founder and executive director Meir Fenigstein. “We are excited to present the IFF Achievement in Film Award for his remarkable accomplishments and his support for Israeli filmmaking.”

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Oscar Night Highlights

By Eileen Reynolds

Getty Images

Oscar night has come and gone, and now the real fun begins. With the glitzy spectacle fresh in our minds, this is the time to dissect, analyze, and discuss. Best and worst dressed? Start with our red-carpet photo slideshow. Which victories were well deserved? Who should’ve won but went home empty handed? Check out our list of historic wins to see how this year’s nominees measure up against the greatest Oscar winners of all time.

Best speech? Worst joke? Sweetest red-carpet couple? Read on to see how this year’s crop of Jewish nominees, presenters and guests — from Steven Spielberg to Natalie Portman to Sacha Baron Cohen — fared at the 84th Annual Academy Awards.

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Seth Rogen Is Engaged!

By Laura Sinberg

AP Images

The 28-year-old funnyman proposed to his (also) 28-year-old girlfriend, writer and actress Lauren Miller, according to Life & Style magazine.

“He surprised her with the proposal,” a friend of Rogen’s told the magazine. “She’d started giving up hope that he would ever pop the question.”

The couple has been dating since 2004. Congrats!

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