Friday, December 31, 2010

Profile: Lyle Alzado

Alzado died in 1992, but he gave a final interview to Sports Illustrated earlier that year in which he admitted to using steroids since 1969(!) and claimed that 90% of athletes of the time were using.

That baseball owners, media, etc. could then come out in the early aughts and say they didn't know that players were using steroids and could not have known and they're just shocked and blah blah blah is so ludicrous and yet we all just nod along with the music.... We knew, they knew, we all knew. To pretend that we were somehow hoodwinked by those sneaky sneaky players and then damn them for it doesn't act as absolution for our own complicity. Sorry.

In any case, Alzado was suggested by Sheldon from Iowa. That's our second Iowa-based suggestion this week! Craziness...

Jews in the News: RIP Avi Cohen

Avi Cohen, one of Israel's first soccer stars, passed away on December 29 after a car crash. Cohen was the first Israeli to play in England, signing for Liverpool in 1979. He also represented Israel in the 1976 Summer Olympics. Cohen was 54.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Profile: Darren Aronofsky

Aronofsky was suggested by Gabriela from LA, Liora from Brazil, long-term suggestion champ Moishe from La Jolla, and Yakov's friend Barry.

But this profile would not be possible without this article on Jewlicious.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Profile: Osip Mandelstam

So, basically, here we have a verdict dilemma. Mandelstam converted out, but basically did it so he can go to college, and didn't practice Christianity. Usually, when people convert out, "Borderline" is as high as we go -- and for modern conversions, "Barely". But since this can be considered a forced conversion, definitely without any religious undertones, we'll go with "Jew" here. It's our website, after all.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Moishe is now Zev

Nothing to be ashamed of, sometimes I go by my maiden name.

Profile: Ryan Kalish

Zev thinks I'm being too hard on Kalish with this one, but I just find the whole concept of "coming out" as a Jew to be so ridiculous....

Anyway, Kalish was suggested by John from New Hampshire, Arnold from Cambridge, and Bob from Iowa. Thanks guys!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Profile: Andre Citroen

Citroen was suggested by Jewgeni from Germany/Russia. Thanks for the suggestion... Jew(?)geni.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Profile: Santa Claus

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas, goyim!

Here we break the un-coveted -1 score for only the second time in JONJ history. The first? Oh boy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Profile: Mel Torme

This profile would not be possible without this excellent compilation at Tablet Magazine.

Torme was suggested by Maurice from Mount Kisco, NY and Bill from North Miami Beach.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Profile: Shyne

The Shyne-y one was suggested by Harry from NY (yes, the same Harry that suggested Jim Palmer. What can we say? He had a good month.), Shelley from NJ, Aaron from Toronto and--believe it or not--my parents.

Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Profile: Jacques Joseph

If you start to type in "why do j" into Google, the first suggestion is "why do jews have big noses". Sigh. But then...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Profile: Job

The picture in the profile is from "Job Prays" by Marc Chagall.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Profile: Mikhail Prokhorov

Had no idea Prokhorov was partly Jewish prior to this New York Times article. He was suggested by Alexander from Lakewood, NJ and Shelley from Basking Ridge, NJ.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Profile: Jim Palmer

Yakov doesn't have time to blog about today's profile, so here's Jim Palmer, Hall of Fame Pitcher, for The Money Store:

Palmer was suggested by returning suggester Harry from NY, Chuck from Phoenix, MD, and Alan from California.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Profile: Stefan Zweig

One of the most popular writers in the world in the 1920s and 30s, and he's almost obscure now. Makes you think what will happen to today's authors down the line...

Thanks to multiple-time-returner Mila from Alexandria for the suggestion!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Profile: Judith Light

Sometimes we do a profile of someone from my childhood and I think, wow, if only I had known they were Jewish at the time! That really would have been something!

This is not one of those profiles.

Also, Alyssa Milano: Sadly, Not a Jew.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Settling the Score: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Originally, our profile posed the question, is Julia's mother Jewish? Thanks to reader Michael, we are now pretty sure she is not (see Julia's maternal ancestry here). But that still leaves Julia herself.

There's a supposed cross she's seen wearing (we've never seen it). There's a supposed radio appearance from the 90s when she said she's not Jewish (we've never heard it). Well, "Borderline Jew" makes sense until further proof is found...

Update: thanks to the commenter and this video. So no, she doesn't consider herself Jewish. "Barely a Jew" it is... And a profile re-write. Oh well.

Profile: Ben Affleck

Before you ask: no, Matt Damon is not Jewish either. Not even close. But he did send his daugther to a Jewish preschool... for a short while. So there's that.

Affleck was suggested by Norm from LA.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Profile: Gim Allon

As it is written, so it shall be done: By the time the profile ran (i.e., today), I'm feeling much better, thank you. At least, I was when I wrote the blog post. Which is now for me, but yesterday for you. So by now I may be feeling down again? Hope not.

Man this time traveling is hard. Not sure how Brainiac-5 does it all the time. Since this is a comic book post I guess it's time for me to rant about what DC has done to the Legion, but considering how little energy they've put into this latest reboot ("ah, let's just pretend the last 15 years never happened and hope all the readers come back"), why should I put any more thought into complaining about it?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Profile: Lou Gehrig

This is actually a running joke I have with Mrs. Yakov. We go on long drives on occasion and this is one of the bits we do to pass the time (the other is Yoda calling sports radio to complain about the Mets. Yes, really). Anyway, couldn't resist the opportunity to bring it out of the world of our minds and onto the Intertubes. Good times.

The Iron Horse was suggested by Penny from NYC (hope your hands are growing back nicely) who noted that the Yankees may have actually believed Gehrig was Jewish when they signed him and that, further, Gehrig counted a mezuzah among his many lucky talismans.

Thanks for the suggestion, Penny!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Profile: Al Lewis

There are so many lies and half-truths Lewis had told, it doesn't end with the ones mentioned in the profile. For instance, he said he attended Columbia University... not Oswego State Teachers College.

Lewis was suggested by Juan from Texas and Alexandra from Denver.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Profile: Jack Huston

With our backlog, the profiles that appear on our website are usually written about a month in advance. This one I wrote yesterday... with the Boardwalk Empire finale this Sunday, it was a must.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Profile: Bob Geldof

Geldof was suggested by Amy from Maryland, Deb from Chicago, and Karl from Australia, who writes, "you must be so pleased and thrilled". Well, Karl, not really...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Profile: Mike Greenberg

Greenie has been floating around my head since I started driving to work again about six months ago (before that I was taking the train and listening to podcasts. Bill Simmons FTW!). Anyway, finally got around to writing his profile.

But all plaudits aside, I'd throw it all away for the return of Mike and the Mad Dog. Mike on his own is just...creepy.

Top 10 Profiles: November

1. Kate Middleton (+441)
2. Mel Gibson (+1)
3. Whoopi Goldberg (+17)
4. Adolf Hitler (+1)
5. Jesus Christ (-1)
6. Sandra Bullock (-5)
7. Harrison Ford (+6)
8. Scarlett Johansson (-6)
9. Kevin Bacon (+9)
10. Steve Carell (-2)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Profile: Joey Bishop

Bishop is a leftover from the David Cross profile. When I wrote this, Moishe was surprised by my choice of the Chicago Bulls. I think he felt it was a little out of my wheelhouse.

For the record, I would have gone Alpha: Kirk, Spock, Bones. Support: Uhura, Sulu, Scotty. Loser: Chekhov. Or perhaps Alpha: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman. Support: Martian Manhunter, Flash, Green Lantern. Loser: Aquaman.

But then, you probably had those things already figured out...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Profile: Alan Freed

We actually got an email complaining that we said that Jews practically invented rap. So I jokingly told Yakov that will soon make the claim that Jews invented rock and roll. A few days later, we got the suggestion from Slava from Baltimore to profile Freed.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Profile: Joaquin Phoenix

When Phoenix was suggested by Elizabeth from Columbus, Valerie from Ontario, Bob from New York, and repeat suggester Anne from Dallas, they probably didn't expect... this.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Profile: Gordon Gekko

Thanksgiving is today, so we would like to thank all of our suggesters, and especially all our repeat suggesters -- Joe from Scanton here -- for helping to keep our site going!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Profile: Prince Albert

With all the Kate Middleton inquiries, we got our share of British royal suggestions. Prince Albert's possible Jewishness is clearly the best one. Thanks, Josh from London!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Profile: Andre Geim

Geim was suggested by our blog commenters. And yes, Yakov, he actually did levitate frogs:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Profile: Andrei Moiseev

Obviously, this profile is just an excuse to write about the wonderful absurdity of modern pentathlon. I want to thank my former co-worker, "The Slider", for teaching me about the origins of the sport. I miss you, Slider!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Profile: Arthur Fonzarelli

The Fonz was suggested by Samuel from Pennsylvania, who called him "the best fictional Jewish figure ever." Sadly, we can't agree...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Profile: Greg Camarillo

In the Jeremy Bloom profile, I wrote: "So we feel pretty safe in saying there haven't been any Jewish wide receivers in the NFL. Certainly not in the last 20 years. Maybe not ever." That's still sort-of right: Julian Edelman owns up to his Jewish heritage, but doesn't really go beyond that. And Camarillo does celebrate Christmas...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Long live the princess queen?

Yesterday, the engagement of England's Prince William and Kate Middleton became news. Ever since, people have been flocking to our website to read her profile.

We might just have to crown a new queen... of our website. Sorry, Sandra.

Profile: Judit Polgar

Wow, this is our 1 2 3 4 5 6th chess profile! No, Chess Players are not getting their own category. Not yet, at least...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Profile: Michael Bay

Still haven't seen "Transformers". 1 or 2. I like movies with, what's the word... plot.

Bay was suggested by Loren from Las Vegas, Corey from New Jersey, and Menny from Israel.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Profile: Louis Brandeis

What's this? Another perfect score? The 15 Club grows...

Brandeis is the fourth Supreme Court Justice we've profiled. He was suggested by Jeff from New York.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Profile: Jon Cryer

I've never actually seen "Two and a Half Men". To me, Cryer will always be Washout from "Hot Shots!".

Cryer was suggested by Leroy from Leicester, Terry from Long Island, Alan from NYC, Helen from Oxford, and Filip from New York.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Profile: Kurt Vonnegut

Yakov and I both adore Vonnegut. No, he's not Jewish, of course (although I'm pretty sure his second wife, Jill Krementz, is). Been wanting to profile him for a while, but the only way I could do him justice is to do it in his own words. Today, Veterans' Day, on what would have been his 88th birthday.

So it goes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Profile: Irene Rosenfeld

This was written on the day Forbes came out with the list and Google news reader kept telling me that "Lady Gaga made the top 10"! So, since I'm a slave to Google (sometimes), I went ahead and looked. Saw a Jew at #2, and couldn't pass it up...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Profile: Linda Cohn

Linda Cohn was suggested by... absolutely no one. FWIW, both Yakov and I are not exactly fans of Miss Andrews either. She's what we call "sideline reporter hot". Meh.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Profile: Mitch Albom

I think Yakov is being too kind on Albom in the profile. The guy is just... Well, Fire Joe Morgan, writing for Deadpsin, explains it.

If this is one of the best sportswriters in America, I don't want to imagine the worst.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Profile: Ike Turner

I am sure that we are going to get e-mails (or comments) from people aghast that we're not willing to consider Ike's considerable contributions to music history in our scoring. So let me head that off at the pass right now: I don't care.

I don't care that he was talented or groundbreaking or that there are two sides to every story when it comes to a marriage.... If it were up to me and not a group effort, he'd have the triple zero.

Live with it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Profile: Theda Bara

Bara was one of the first silent movie stars, the original femme fatale. A Jew from Cleveland, the studio made her out to be an exotic Arabic actress, before coming clean.

She was suggested by Tracey from NYC, Sandy from Key West, and multiple-time returning suggester Mila from Alexandria.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Profile: David Cross

Cross was suggested by William from Atlanta, Walt from Texas, and Adam, who claims to be from Rhodesia. Doubtful on that one.

Cross actually had to defend his role in "Alvin and the Chipmunks", saying that he made more than "all my other projects combined". Well, at least he's honest.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Profile: Heidi Fleiss

It's Election Day, so here comes your political profile... not so fast. You see, the last time we did that on Election Day, we claimed that "it's anyone guess who will be declared the winner". It took eight months for Al Franken to officially unset Norm Coleman.

So here comes... Heidi Fleiss! As suggested our old friend Moishe from La Jolla.