NEW YORK (6nobacon.com) — More than 2,600 young Chicago Jews enjoyed an exciting early Chanukah gift over the weekend with a visit by “Late Night” host Jimmy Fallon as part of Chicago’s Jewish United Fund’s 2012 annual campaign kickoff.
Fallon, an Irish-Catholic New Yorker, began with his famous “thank you” (he even has a thank you book) and said, “I want to say thank you to all the Jewish moms I met backstage. I got offered 10 to 15 dishes of food — I’m not kidding — in the span of five minutes. It was so awesome and cute.”
And of course, like many others before him, Fallon suggested his very own solution to the Middle East conflict: a “Kumbaya” song called “Carwash for Peace.”
“Well, I’m so sick of all the news on TV,” the song began. “All this fighting got me going crazy … let’s have a carwash for peace. There’s trouble in the Middle East. Put down those guns and pick up a sponge — carwash for peace.”
Before Fallon, Jewish comedian-writer Wayne Federman took the stage for a stand-up appearance. Federman, who also writes for Fallon from time to time, told the crowd, “I grew up in Florida and then moved to New York City, where I worked, and then I’m going to retire to Minsk — I’m doing the whole thing backwards.”
Lea Michele’s Sephardic surname
Actress Lea Michele appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” last week to promote her new celebrity-packed movie “New Year’s Eve.” Michele explained to Leno the roots of her actual last name, Sarfati, a “Sephardic, Spanish-Jewish name.” Apparently growing up as Lea Sarfati wasn’t easy for her.
“I got Lea So-fatty, Lea So-farty at school, so when I was little and I went on my first audition, they were like, ‘And may we have your name,’ and I said, ‘Lea Michele.’ And I’ve been Lea Michele ever since.”
Michele also said that growing up Italian meant a whole lot of pasta, even on Thanksgiving — Leno sympathized, being half Italian. Michele talked about her connection with Barbra Streisand. Apparently she watched an episode of the show “Hoarders” featuring a doll collector who possessed a Barbra doll. Michele, being a big fan, tweeted asking how she could get the doll. The response came from none other than Babs herself, who sent her a Barbra doll. (She keeps her own dolls? That’s a little weird).
Lea, Babs didn’t change her last name, why did you?
Stooges makeover from the Farrellys
The directorial duo that brought us such masterpieces as “There’s Something About Mary” and “Dumb and Dumber” has turned to the famous Jewish trio of film comedy: the Three Stooges. The Farrelly brothers have brought the Stooges — Moe, Larry, Curly (and Shemp) — into the modern era, complete with references to iPhones and “Jersey Shore” (Snooki has a cameo).
Their comedic sensibilities, however, remain firmly planted in the ’40s. Cue the slaps and bonks. Surely it would’ve been anachronistic for the Farrellys to have the Stooges putting semen in a woman’s hair.
Though none of the Stooges are played by Jews, one rather notable Jew has a supporting role: Larry David.
Daniel Radcliffe, Entertainer of the Year
This sure has been the year of Daniel Radcliffe. The 22-year-old English actor had his final turn as Harry Potter in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 2″ earlier this year, with an astonishing global box office success of more than $1 billion. He received MTV’s Actor We’re Most Thankful For Award during the 2011 MTV Movie Awards. In addition, Radcliffe performed in the successful Broadway musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and has a few upcoming projects, including “Woman in Black” and a role as young Allen Ginsberg in a forthcoming film.
Now Reuters reports that Entertainment Weekly named Radcliffe Entertainer of the Year. EW editor Jess Cagle said on “Good Morning America” that “Dan” deserved it. Cagle added that Radcliffe is “the nicest guy with one of the brightest futures in Hollywood. There’s nothing he can’t do. He’s really interested in doing the work. Despite all his wealth and fame as a teenager, he never derailed. He was never busted. Never went outside without his panties on.” (He did drop his drawers and everything else when he appeared on Broadway in “Equus.”)
Although he wasn’t a real wizard and did succeed in business without really trying, it seems like the reports we had on Radcliffe were pretty positive. So with the holiday spirit making us all nice and stuff, allow us to congratulate you, Daniel Radcliffe.
Eisenberg praises Judaism — for his acting skills
Jesse Eisenberg says Judaism breeds good actors. In an essay in Black Book magazine, Eisenberg extols the positive impact that a loud, Jewish background had on his acting chops.
“In my family, every conversation was a debate complete with philosophical tangents,” he says. “A discussion about the Yankees would quickly devolve into an argument about salary caps and then into a theoretical consideration of hegemony and finally, inevitably, a shouting match about Israeli policies in the Middle East.”
Beastie Boys heading to Rock hall
Brooklyn’s favorite Jewish sons — Mike D (Michael Diamond), MCA (Adam Yauch) and Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz), or as you may know them, the Beastie Boys — received a much coveted invitation to be inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2012. The Beastie Boys made their debut in 1979 and quickly became pioneers of experimental hip hop and leaders of the emerging East Coast scene with hits such as “Fight for Your Right (To Party),” “No Sleep ‘Till Brooklyn” and “Sabotage.” The Beastie Boys have released 12 albums that have sold over 40 million copies worldwide.
Other notable acts to be inducted April 14 in Cleveland are Guns N Roses, Laura Nyro and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who will be performing in Israel next year.