Get your Vashti outfits ready! Purim is upon us and since this is a media column, and since the Jews, er, "participate in" the media, it becomes relevant when a particularly funny video is created in honor of the season. Also, it's relevant because Barack Obama said the word "rabbi" in his race speech, which means that this post will get a zillion hits. Nestled comfortably in the imaginary Venn diagram of the above is The Daily Show — beloved political-humor show captained by the proudly Semitic Jon Stewart, né Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz. Not shockingly, some of his writing staff are also tribally-inclined, and one of them — a Jew by the name of Rob Kutner — puts on a show every year at Purim, and this year went to great lengths to promote it, making a pretty impressive video spoof of Oscar-nominated hipster-celebrating film Juno. So here it is:
Short-story lovers, Jewnot Diaz is next! Beyond being entertaining ("all the young Jews/awkwardly schmooze"), why is it relevant? Well, for starters, it features Daily Show writers and performers, and the internets are big fans of those. Well-known Jew Aasif Mandvi will be performing (just kidding, he's Muslim — post-racial America in action! Obama would be proud), plus TDS writers including strike-diarist Rachel Axler, author (and HuffPo contributor) Sam Means and Kutner, plus I saw Kevin Bleyer's name in the credits of the video (fans may recall that Bleyer went to Iraq with Rob Riggle last August). Plus Lewis Black will rant, albeit via video. Writers from other comedy shows like The Simpsons are also involved, with names like "Markowitz" and "Lieb"; Lewis Black will chime in via video; SNL Obama hopeful and Stephen Colbert black friend Jordan Carlos will be there; and VH1er Seth Herzog will apparently don a short skirt and blonde wig to moderate a Presidential debate as, according to Kutner, a "suspiciously anti-Semitic pundit" named "Hamann Coulter." Upshot: This passes the relevance test, the media-synergy test, and the Obama race-speech callback test. So even if you didn't get the Vashti joke, at least you know why it's relevant.
Jewish Media Purim Party Featuring Jews and One Muslim [Makor]