It’s September at last, when summer reruns and C-level realty shows cede their timeslots to returning favorites and new contenders. This fall’s offerings include Jewish connections galore, on and off camera; prolific producers J.J. Abrams, Jerry Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman are just a few of the series’ creators.
KassemJEW is on the streets of Westwood to talk to Angelenos about Israel Independence Day. Happy Yom Ha'Atzmaut!
KassemJEW on the streets for Purim. What do you know about Purim?
Episode of the Jewish-themed 1950s soap-opera/sitcom The Goldbergs, starring Gertrude Berg, taken from the final season
Passover is a holiday near and dear to Marc Jaffe's heart. So when the "Seinfeld" and "Mad About You" writer went to a friend's house for a seder last year, he was let down when an Elijah's entrance gag bombed.
"They shook the table. I thought, 'You gotta be kidding me,'" he said. "You gotta have better effects than that."
Only a British sitcom could come up with a skit about someone wanting to purchase 'Turning Jewish' insurance. From 'The Two Ronnies' circa 1987.
The following excerpt is the prologue to "You're Lucky You're Funny: How Life Becomes a Sitcom," (Viking, 2006) a memoir by Phil Rosenthal, creator and executive producer of "Everybody Loves Raymond."
When Paul Reiser co-created and starred in the 1990s hit sitcom, "Mad About You," -- about a secular Jew married to a Christian -- he helped spur a new trend in TV comedy: the cute but neurotic Jewish leading man.
At the beginning of her risqué comic monologue, "Sugar Happens," Rachel Bailit struts onstage wearing a tight black corset, a skimpy skirt, garters, thigh-highs and an attitude.
"I know what you're thinking: Big boobs ... big lips. Bimbo. Starlet. Slut," she says. "But don't judge me; you don't really know me. I'm just a nice Jewish girl from Needham, Mass."
While laundering her costume at her rent-controlled Santa Monica apartment recently, the cheery actress says she intends her introduction to confront the bimbo stereotype and to declare, "I'm a lot more than that."
May/December romances are in. Just ask Hollywood. But we're not talking Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones. There's absolutely nothing new about older actors dating younger actresses (can you say Bogie and Bacall?) Nope, it's the older woman/younger man scenario that's making headlines, specifically the relationship between Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.
In the promising pilot -- which one critic called "'Frasier' with boobs" -- Elon Gold proved a hilarious comic foil for the vacuous yet surprisingly insightful Pamela Anderson.
The last episode of "Friends" airs May 6, and while we may all express a collective sigh of relief at the end of more than a year of shameless hype and exploitation, it doesn't mean that we can't stop to reflect on this moment in American cultural history.
When Lainie Kazan first read the screenplay of Nia Vardalos' "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," now a frothy CBS sitcom, she could relate.
Vardalos said she based the characters on her large, "loud, always-eating Greek family that loves me to the point of suffocation." And Kazan, who plays her Greek mama, hails from a similarly boisterous ethnic clan.
When Melanie Mayron read an early script of the iconic yuppie angst-fest "thirtysomething" in 1987, she rushed to the telephone. The series' creators had portrayed her character, Melissa, as Jewish, fat and troubled. But the famously redheaded actress didn't want any of that. She'd already been a recurring character on another show about a food-obsessed Jewish chick, the 1970s sitcom, "Rhoda." And she was tired of the cliché.
Is it an Italian sensibility? Or is Raymond a crypto-Jew?
"Come and knock on my door,"began the jingle on the popular '70s ABC sitcom "Three's Company." These days, opportunity knocks on the door of actor Richard Kline.
Kline, who played smarmy bachelor Larry Dallas on the quintessential sitcom, returns this week as director of KNBC weatherman Fritz Coleman's new one-man show, "The Reception." Coleman's humorous meditation on marriage follows his and Kline's collaboration on Coleman's first production, the autobiographical "It's Me! Dad!"
Michael Glouberman felt the déjà vu the whole time he was reading the pilot of the Emmy-nominated Fox sitcom, "Malcolm in the Middle."
On Fox's breakout comedy, "That '70s Show," Mila Kunis plays spoiled and sassy Jackie Burkhardt. But, in real life, she's very much a child of the '90s, down to her fascination with the Internet.
The Jewish Community Library is used to catering to the literaryneeds of groups of school children, Yiddish scholars and day-schoolteachers. But seldom does it get a call for Talmudic texts to gracethe set of a sitcom. That changed a few weeks ago when librarydirector Abigail Yasgur received a request from the "Seinfeld" artdepartment to borrow a set of the sacred books. The 29-volume redSoncino Talmud filled the bill. The books, borrowed for a week, willappear in an episode scheduled to air next Thursday (Oct. 9) on NBC.
TV writer and CBS executive Eugene Stein exposes a darkerside in his latest book of fiction