Nate Bloom blogs on this week’s Jews in the News
On Greenfield and Appleby
MAX GREENFIELD, 31, has hit the equivalent of the actor lotto. After a decade as a guest or recurring actor in sit-coms, he landed (fall, 2011) the role of Schmidt, a ladies’ man, on “New Girl.” This Fox sit-com, starring Zooey Deschanel, is a huge hit. The Schmidt character has almost clicked as much with the TV audience as Deschanel’s character and Greenfield’s first year performance was Emmy-nominated.
Greenfield is now much in demand for interviews and he often mentions his Jewish background in these interviews. He recently told “Vanity Fair” about his “SNL”-themed bar mitzvah, which included a “Blues Brothers” cake and tables graced by headshots of the show’s cast members.” On Oct. 8, he told David Letterman about visiting an animal park when he was a teen and having an encounter with an ostrich that was possibly quite dangerous. Letterman replied to this tale by noting that Greenfield could have been killed by the big bird. Greenfield said that had that happened, the headline would have been, “Jewish Kid Killed by Ostrich.”
By the way, Greenfield was a member of the almost all-Jewish cast of “When Do We Eat?,” a 2005 indie cult film about a wild Passover Seder. The other Jewish cast members included LESLEY ANN WARREN, now 66; JACK KLUGMAN, now 90; SHIRI APPLEBY, now 33; and BEN FELDMAN, now 32. Like Greenfield, Feldman found his breakthrough role last TV season (“Michael Ginsberg” on “Mad Men”) and was also Emmy-nominated.
Writing this item prompted me to check-up on Appleby. Remember her? She has been acting since childhood and has appeared in tons of TV shows and in some feature films, but is still most associated with her co-starring role on the sci-fi TV series, “Roswell,” which ran from 1999-2002. More recently, she co-starred on the CW TV series, “Life Unexpected” (2010-2011). Born in Los Angeles, Appleby is the daughter of American Jewish businessman father and a Moroccan Jewish mother who teaches Hebrew school. Last April, she became engaged to her boyfriend of two years, chef JON SHOOK, 31, who co-founded and co-owns two very “hot” Los Angeles restaurants that attract a lot of celebs and serious foodies. Currently, Appleby co-stars on the hit (in web terms) internet-only series, “Dating Rules from My Future Self.” It can be seen on youtube and hulu.com
Funny Stuff Notes
Early this month, the irreverent website, Funnyordie.com, posted a 2-minute trailer for a (fictional) new TV series, “Jew Girl.” It’s an obvious Jewish themed parody of “New Girl.” It’s funny, if not hysterical, and, of course, plays on stereotypes. Worth a look if some risqué humor doesn’t offend you.
“Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs” airs on Comedy Central on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 8PM. The special is hosted by JON STEWART, 49, with the following funny guys set to appear: SETH ROGEN, 30, JERRY SEINFELD, 58, BOB SAGET, 56, MATTHEW BRODERICK, 50, and ROBERT SMIGEL, 52 (as the voice of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog).
Over the years, people have asked me why there aren’t more Jewish pro golfers. There’s no easy answer and my sociological guesses would go on to long for this column. Suffice it to say, here, “them’s the breaks.” The three most prominent recent pros are BRUCE FLEISCHER, 63; AMY ALCOTT, 56; and MORGAN PRESSEL, 24. Fleischer, who won the 1968 U.S. Amateur championship, had modest success on the regular pro tour (one victory), but has won 18 Senior PGA tournaments, including the 2001 Senior Open.
Alcott, now retired, is simply one of the best woman golfers of all-time, with 5 major tournament wins and 29 LPGA titles. Pressel started hot, qualifying for the US Amateur championship at age 12. But she’s had only mid-range pro success, winning two tournaments since joining the LPGA tour in 2005.
A promising future pro is STEVEN FOX, 22, who won the US Amateur Championship last August. Raised in Tennessee, this Univ. of Tennessee student barely made the tournament and his victory was a huge upset. By tradition, he will get invitations, now, to the 2013 Masters and U.S. Open. Fox’s Jewish father, ALAN, a Long Island native, played pro basketball in Israel. His non-Jewish mother, Maureen, was also a college basketball player. Jewish Sports Review contacted the family and learned that Steven, who was raised secular, had no objection to being described as a Jewish athlete in the Review.
Nate Bloom writes a weekly column on Jewish celebrities, broadly defined, that appears in the Atlanta Jewish Times, the Cleveland Jewish News, the American Israelite of Cincinnati, the Detroit Jewish News, and the New Jersey Jewish Standard. It also appears bi-weekly in j., the Jewish news weekly of northern California. Most of the items in Bloom’s weekly newspaper column differ from the items in his bi-weekly column on interfaith celebrities for InterfaithFamily.com. If you wish to contact Nate Bloom, e-mail him at email@example.com . The author welcomes questions and celebrity “tips,” especially about people you personally know.