Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Profile: Kate Hudson

Come on, Kate. We're rooting for you. We KNOW you can push that K Score to at least a 3. Just say no to romantic comedies. You are better than that.

Or are you? "Almost Famous" was eight long years ago...

Weird Search of the Day: December 31

It goes without saying that Bill Clinton has a thing for Jewish chicks.

But his tastes are not exclusive.

Paula Jones.

Not a Jew.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Oh, those meshugenah goyim! Narnia

Speaking of born-again Christians...

"The Chronicles of Narnia" was on TV the other night, so I decided to watch. I knew there were some Christian overtones, but figured to give it a shot just to see what all the hoopla is about. Besides, nothing else was on.

So the first hour and a half goes by, and it's not too bad. Nothing great, a bit slow-moving, talking gophers, etc. Some nice cinematography. A bit childish, but what did I expect. There is at least an attempt at a story.

And then the lion dies.

Jesus f@#$ing Christ.

Oops, I just gave it away.

Can we just have an attempt at subtlety, C.S. Lewis or Disney? No, we get beat on the head with it again and again and again. And after reading the summary of the rest of the series, it gets even worse...

I guess we'll stick with "Lord of the Rings". Although I got some issues with that one as well...

Oh, those meshugenah goyim!

Profile: Jeremy Bloom

If there is one thing we can't stand more than born-again Christians, it's formerly Jewish born-again Christians...

Weird Search of the Day: December 30

George Washington.

Not a Jew.

However... Because we're here to check these things, wooden dentures would in fact be Kosher. Porcelain dentures, on the other hand... not a chance.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Profile: Che Guevara

Ah, this is perfect for the new movie that just came out. Except... we can't really imagine sitting in a theater for four hours straight, even with the intermission. The last time we did that was for "Hamlet"... Kenneth Branaugh's, not Mel Gibson's, of course.

Weird Search of the Day: December 29

Sadly, she'll never make our website.*

Alyssa Milano.

Not a Jew.

*Unless she marries a Jew. Then'll we'll profile her the day it happens.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Profile: Eugene Levy

For a second there, we thought of breaking our scale and giving an O Score of 6 for Mr. Levy. With him as the icon for it. Seriously, is there anyone more Jewish looking than him?

Weird Search of the Day: December 28

His name comes up in searches at least once a week. Usually, much more often.

We do mention in this profile that he is not Jewish... But before we add him to the list, let's just double-check and make sure.

Whew. He even wanted to become a priest at one point.

Tom Cruise.

Not a Jew.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Profile: Zab Judah

Judah is the second boxer we've profiled, after Max Baer. Thanks to reader Guy from Sunnyvale, CA for the suggestion!

Weird Search of the Day: December 27

How can anyone this popular in GERMANY turn out to be a Jew?

David Hasselhoff.

Not a Jew.

Now, let's quickly post today's profile so that this picture slides down the page...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Profile: Lev Landau

As part of doing this profile I looked up some of Landau's theories, you know, just to get a better understanding of the man I was writing about. I figured I'd kind of skim through and, perhaps not get the math, but at least gain a general idea of what he proved.

Yeah, not so much.

I will now resist the urge to make a joke about a man who scores himself....

Weird Search of the Day: December 26

Plaxico Burress.

Not a Jew.

It's not that no Jew would shoot himself in the leg... It's that no Jewish parents would ever name their son Plaxico.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Profile: Ebenezer Scrooge

This is where using the royal we gets us in trouble. Yakov actually LIKES Charles Dickens. Yeah, I don't get it either.

Merry Christmas, gentile readers!

Weird Search of the Day: December 25

Ted Stevens.

Not a Jew.

Well, let's see, what could the searcher might have been thinking... There was a rumor that Sarah Palin was Jewish, so she is an Alaska politician, like Ted Stevens, so let's check if the bridge-to-nowhere-building, Bible-thumping, illegal-gift-receiving, series-of-tubes-naming, deposed Senator might be a hidden Jew.

Not a chance, dear searcher.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oh, those meshugenah goyim! Christmas Cards

So I'm sitting at work, killing time before my end-of-the-year vacation. And surprise! I get a Christmas card. At work. From a former co-worker. Not one I was particularly close with. I guess we talked a couple of times. Turns out she sent a card to a few people, and I was one of them.

A nice thought, sure. Share the merriment. But... what the hell do I do with that card? Do I display it proudly on my desk? No. That doesn't exactly go along with my Grinchy persona. Besides... the card is so garish. Seriously, goyim. I understand you love your holiday, but is it too much to ask for something tasteful?

Now, I bet this poor woman spent a lot of time picking the card. She probably browsed through hundreds of these, picking the right one for each of her former co-workers. And who am I to complain about a thoughtful gesture?

But seriously, what do I do with a hideous Christmas card?

So I did the only thing I could do. I put it in the trash can.

Oh, those meshugenah goyim!

Weird Search of the Day: December 24

Richard Nixon.

Not a crook. Not a Jew.

Forgive us for the obvious joke.

Profile: James Wilson

Jewish bears? Sure. Jewish aliens? Definitely. Jewish Transformers? Why not?

But a Jewish character played by Robert Sean Leonard? Sheer lunacy.

Seriously, there's only so much disbelief we're willing to suspend.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Settling the Score: Billy Joel

My favorite feature of our little wander through the Internet desert is the Jew Score. When we started, of course, it wasn't really clear how the whole thing would work in practice (setting Mel Brooks as the high at 15 helped, of course). 400-odd profiles later and we have a pretty good idea of who ought to be scored what. It's almost rote by now. But sometimes we have a debate about a score - either one that has been posted or one that will be. When that happens, this post happens. So let's go ahead and Settle the Score:

Michael from Maryland writes:
"I think (Billy Joel's) score needs examining. He wasn't really raised Irish Catholic, so much as he had a hodgepodge of religious experiences as a kid. Read here: ... So I think you should bump up his O score to at least a 2".

First off, thanks for writing in, Michael! Now to your question. Having read the article above (nice find, btw) I actually don't reach the same conclusion. The difference between being raised Catholic and being raised rebellious Catholic is really just semantics and has little effect on Jew Score in practice. And that's all Billy is saying in the article above: Not that he wasn't raised that way, only that he had serious doubts growing up and no longer identifies as any religion. Hardly the basis for a change in score.

But what I did find interesting is, in the article, Billy does seem to self-identify as a Jew. My perspective before this was that we were dealing with another Madeline Albright: someone who didn't know they were Jewish and didn't particularly care for it once they found out. But clearly, at least based on this interview, that's not the case.

So, it's probably time to bump up the O score to a 2. Except it still bothers me. A key component of the O score is that it's based on how we see someone. And I can't think of anyone who might have thought Billy Joel was Jewish based on well...anything. It's really the I score that asks how the person sees themselves. And since Billy's already got an I of 4...

Anyway, I'm probably gonna change it eventually. Just being stubborn for now. What I will do though, is adjust the profile since, you're right, he clearly had a Christian upbringing, not a specifically Irish Catholic one.

Thanks again for your interest and keep up the good work!

Profile: The Spirit

A lot of the stuff in the profile about Will Eisner's Jewish intentions comes from The 10-Cent Plague by David Hajdu. If you have any interest in comics at all, I highly recommend it. Very well written and informative. If I was going to do a "JONJ Recommends" post on JONJ: Unplugged (and to be honest, I've thought about it), that book would be on the list. So would Kavalier and Clay, also mentioned in the link above.

On the movie side of things, I'm a big believer in the inverse hype theory of movies which states that a movie's quality is inversely proportional to the amount of hype it receives beforehand. In which case, The Spirit—which has had posters up since before the summer—is gonna be bad all over. That would be a shame. The character (and the role he's had in just about anything comic book anywhere) deserves some recognition.

Weird Search of the Day: December 23

If we can claim half of him, so maybe we can claim at least half of...

Brad Pitt.

Sadly for our female readers, Not a Jew.

And it's not even close.

Monday, December 22, 2008

JONJ in Japan Times is mentioned in this article in the Japan Times, of all places (second paragraph from the bottom).
Say what you will about Adam Sandler's brand of adolescent humor, the guy has done more to promote Hanukkah than any other Jewish entertainer in recent memory — even if his "The Hanukkah Song" is basically a goof and a lot of Jews themselves are embarrassed by it. The purpose of the song is not really to celebrate the Festival of Lights but rather to out supposedly closeted Jews in show business. In that regard it does have something of an educational side to it, but the Web site "Jew or Not Jew" does a better, and much funnier, job of that.
Happy Hanukkah!

Profile: Sarah Silverman

I've written a lot of dirty words on this post. I mean a lot a lot. Heck of a lot more than I originally intended to, anyway. First hundred posts or so, I don't think there's so much as a "hell". Then we dropped a couple of BS's here and there. Finally, there was the David Mamet post. That kind of broke the dam. Now it's like a Chris Rock special in here.

And yet, when it came time to type the word JAP for the first time (in Barbie) I really hesitated. Something about the word just put me off. I've written some absolutely virulent stuff over the years and somehow JAP upsets me? That's like being a daredevil who's afraid of spiders. Seriously, don't I have bigger things to worry about?

In any case, thanks to readers Jake from Ohio and Marissa from Illinois for suggesting Ms. Silverman.

Weird Search of the Day: December 22

At Jew or Not Jew, we always look Jews of various hard-to-believe ethnicities. Eskimo Jews, Indian Jews, Chinese Jews...

This one, however, is not one of them.

Mao Zedong.

Not a Jew.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Profile: Lindsay Lohan

You know, we really enjoyed "Mean Girls"... It's not "Heathers", what is, but Lindsay was very good in it, and seemed poised to become the next great talented young actress.

What happened?

Weird Search of the Day: December 21

Wayne Gretzky.

Not a Jew.

Now, does anyone remember the early 90s cartoon ProStars, "starring" Gretzky, Michael Jordan, and Bo Jackson?
The reason we ask is because the show had a character called "Mom", who, according to Wikipedia (yes, we know we're referencing Wikipedia), was "a quasi-Yiddish and Jewish mother stereotype". Wow... Just wow. So if anyone remembers if Mom was ever revealed to be Gretzky's (or Jordan's, or Jackson's) mom, please let us know.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Profile: Sarah Bernhardt

Thanks to California reader Francesca Miller for the suggestion. Berhnardt is still considered one of the greatest actresses of all time. Quiet down, Elizabeth Berkeley fans.

Weird Search of the Day: December 20

Does she even know what a Jew is?

Miley Cyrus.

Not a Jew.

On second thought, scratch that. She might not know now, but we're giving 50-50 odds that in a couple of years, Miley will try Kabbala, which will lead to a profile of her on our website. And we're taking the under on that timeframe.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Oh, those meshugenah goyim! Names

I was in the post office today, and, of course, seeing how Christmas is close, the line was loooooooooooong. In front of me there was a woman with two kids. She was carrying the baby, and the two-year girl was running around. "Patience," the woman screamed. "Patience!"

Sure, I thought, patience. I was getting impatient myself. I just needed to mail one letter and people in front of me were sending gingerbread cookies to Vanuatu. But then I realized... the woman wasn't asking for patience. Patience was her daughter's name.

Ugh. Just ugh.

We discussed the goyim's inability to come up with first names in the Robert Downey Jr. profile, but the lack of creativity we talk about there is just one end of the spectrum. On the other, there is the supposed creativity. Witness Sarah Palin's Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig. Patience is up there as well... It might not be as bad as Track or Trig, but... imagine if the woman ever needs to ask her daughter to hurry up.

The worst, however, is Nevaeh. You've never heard it? Well, that's probably because you're Jewish. It's currently one of the most popular names in the country. And it's origin? Well, if you can't figure it out, we'll let Namipedia explain it.

Oh, those meshugenah goyim!

Weird Search of the Day: December 19

We would LOVE to claim him as one of our own, but we have to be fair.

Mark Twain.

Not a Jew.

Profile: Brooke Burke

Usually, when we profile a... hmmm... how do we put it... an actress/model, we look at her age and let out a big sigh. We're old.

But when we looked up Brooke Burke's birthdate and found out she is 37... Well, there was no sigh. 37? Really?

Ashley Tisdale, on the other hand...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Settling the Score: Woody Allen

My favorite feature of our little wander through the Internet desert is the Jew Score. When we started, of course, it wasn't really clear how the whole thing would work in practice (setting Mel Brooks as the high at 15 helped, of course). 400-odd profiles later and we have a pretty good idea of who ought to be scored what. It's almost rote by now. But sometimes we have a debate about a score - either one that has been posted or one that will be. When that happens, this post happens. So let's go ahead and Settle the Score:

This week we'll talk about Woody, per Moishe's request. As you can see, we scored him a 13—that's a pretty high score for a nebbish little perv who just happened to make a few good movies. Or, it's a little low for one of the all time great comedians and artists who just happened to have a little public embarassment over his young, though completely legal, girlfriend.

To be fair, pre-Soon Yi (back when Jew Or Not Jew only existed in book form), Woody Allen was a lock 15, right? Oh sure, we never liked the idea of people assuming he was representative of all Jews, but it's hard to argue with his resume.

And now? Well Allen and his little fortune cookie are still together: more than can be said for most Hollywood couples. And his movies, after taking a nose dive from which most never recover, have recently gone on the upswing (Match Point, for example).

Yeah, I know, keep digging. He could make the greatest movie of all time (and maybe he already has)—but he's always gonna be the guy that hooked up with his daughter. Ignoring that takes blinders the size of skyscrapers, and that's the kind of purchase we can't afford to make on an Internet budget.

Frankly, I think even a 13 is a bit of a gift.

Weird Search of the Day: December 18

We mentioned her in the David Copperfield profile, so hopefully the misguided searcher clicked on that link and found out the obvious.

Claudia Schiffer.

Not a Jew.

Profile: Ben & Jerry

Other Jews in the world of ice cream include the creators of Haagen Dahz (Polish Jews Reuben and Rose Mattus). Burt Baskin probably wasn't Jewish, but Irv Robbins may very well have been (the Intertubes are remarkably coy on the subject). Otherwise, nada. Breyer was not. Dreyers (aka, Edy's here in this neck of the woods) doesn't appear to be either. Is there anyone else I'm missing?

Also, for those who like minutiae, today is the second day in a row I used the word milieu in a profile. It actually bothers the HELL out of me, but I'm also not going to change it which means I'm basically being passive aggressive with myself. Good times.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Profile: Batwoman

You have to wonder about the thought process here:

"Let's see, we've added a black guy, a Chinese kid, and a Latino - what's left?"

"Women, gays and Jews."

"Eh. Just throw em all together and be done with it."


Oh, and as long as we're here, Atom Smasher (formerly Nuklon) and Justice (Vance Astrovik) are also obscure comic book Jews. Y'know, in case you were wondering.

Weird Search of the Day: December 17

I think we have a new frontrunner for Weirdest Search Ever.

But the blog is young.

Malcolm X.

Not a Jew.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Weird Search of the Day: December 16

Joe Namath.

Not a Jew.

What's that? We profiled Eli Manning, who has as little chance of being a Jew as Namath does? Well... we wanted to make a point about the goyim using Jewish first names... What's that? Joseph?

OK. You got us. We're not always consistent. But... come on. Joe Namath. Jewish? Not a chance.

Profile: Julie Kavner

Before her rise to fame as (the voice of) Marge Simpson, Kavner was one of those actors who always appear in minor roles in Woody Allen films.

Speaking of Allen, has enough time passed from the Soon-Yi thing to fully come out as a huge Woody fan? His last four movies have been terrific, and I can't wait for "Whatever Works", starring Larry David. I think I smell another Settling the Score...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Profile: Rodney Dangerfield

Over 400 profiles, including Tom Arnold, Andrew Dice Clay, and Rob Schneider, and we FINALLY got to Rodney Dangerfield? Talk about no respect...

Weird Search of the Day: December 15

Oprah Winfrey.

Not a Jew.

OK, I think we got this one figured out, we can connect Oprah to a Jew in two steps... Her production company is named Harpo (Oprah backwards), Harpo Marx was a Jew. How is that for logic?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Profile: Courtney Love

We've been wanting to profile Courtney Love for a while, but already used up the crack whore angle on Amy Winehouse...

So here is the fake Chanel dress all the fuss was about:

We're not fashion experts, but... really? Seriously?

Weird Search of the Day: December 14

Our top story tonight:

Generalissimo Francisco Franco.

Still Not a Jew.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Profile: Mark Lenard

Thus endeth the list of Jews on Star Trek: Shatner, Nimoy, Lenard. Oh sure, there may be a few other random peeps, but as far as primary characters (and calling Sarek primary is stretching things already) I think we're done. If I'm missing someone let me know.

As a side note, sometimes I write definitive predictive statements in these things (Ryan Braun comes to mind), and a little voice in the back of my head says "watch - this'll bite you in the tuchas in a year or so." That's how I feel about calling out Zachary Quinto in the last paragraph. Of course, if I'm wrong and the Star Trek franchise really is reborn, well, I'm willing to trade a little pride for that. But only a little...

Weird Search of the Day: December 13

We've detailed our search for Jewish royalty (Jane Seymour?) in the profile of Prince William's former (current? Well, what do you know!) girlfriend, Kate Middleton.

We know one thing, however. There probably aren't any Jews hidden on England's royal tree... But if there are, it's not this guy.

Prince Charles.

Not a Jew.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sage Rosenfels, the patron saint of JONJ

We really don't care about the Houston Texans. What an irrelevant franchise.

Wait, let's rephrase that. We DIDN'T care about the Houston Texans. We care deeply now.

Why? Well, Sage Rosenfels, of course!

You see, every time Rosenfels quarterbacks the Texans, our website's numbers are through the roof. Believe it or not, there are hundreds of people who, when watching the game, actually go online to check if Rosenfels is Jewish! And where do these people end up? Well,, of course!

But now, Matt Schaub has returned from injury to take back his starting position. Ugh. Stupid, stupid Matt Schaub.

Oh well. There's always Ben Roethlisberger for people to wonder about. He's not going anywhere.

Profile: Marcia Clark

Y'know, after last week's verdict, this does feel a little more topical. Sort of. OK, not at all. Hey Moishe, why did we write this profile again?

Also, Marcia Clark is our first lawyer profile. So that's something right there.

And here's how Marcia looks now.

Because we know you were wondering.

Weird Search of the Day: December 12

Donald Trump.

Not a Jew.

However, it is possible that his toupee was made by a Jewish wigmaker.