In his very funny and moving new film, This Is 40, Judd Apatow has generously given me the cameo role of a lifetime -- a Jew. More specifically, I play a reporter from The Jewish Journal who is briefly seen -- from the back, in a yarmulke -- and overheard heard saying a grand total of nine words while interviewing Graham Parker in a sly scene that also features my "co-stars" Paul Rudd, Lena Dunham and Chris O'Dowd. Judd has already tweeted this may be the best yalmulke performance that he has ever directed. Humbly, I report that I am already receiving lots of Oscar buzz -- by which I mean I know a guy named Oscar who really wants to see me in the movie.
Like so many things in Hollywood, my 15 seconds of fame began with a call from CAA. A woman named Shawna called and introduced herself as my "acting agent." I have been with CAA for many years as a writer, but have not been offered many acting parts acted since I famously played Nachum The Beggar in a Tenafly High School production of Fiddler on the Roof -- interestingly, also a Jewish role. I explained to Shawna that I didn't have an acting agent. "Well, you do now," she told me quite nicely. "Because you have an offer." Clearly, this was typecasting at its most effective -- thus requiring precious little Method preparation on and no second circumcision on my part.
How was it filming my first of no doubt countless cameo movie performances? Suffice to say that I sweated more on the set of This Is 40 than my cast mate Albert Brooks did in that scene in Broadcast News. Last week, my wife and I happily attended the premiere of This Is 40 right alongside the actual actors like Albert Brooks, Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd, all of whom give award-worthy performances. For the record, I was thrilled by the movie and the many funny, painful, powerful and true things that Judd says here about the beautiful indignities of life, love, family and the music business.
Speaking of the music business, onscreen and off, I love not only Graham Parker & The Rumour's stellar reunion album Three Chords Good -- which figures in the movie's plot -- but also the just released This Is 40 soundtrack album which includes excellent contributions by Fiona Apple, Lindsey Buckingham, Ryan Adams, Norah Jones. Loudon with Rufus Wainwright, and of course, my scene-mate Graham Parker, as well as well chosen gems by Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney, Wilco and Paul Simon whose "Rewrite" seems as if it was written for the movie even though it wasn't.
Here then for anyone who cares are my 40 favorite albums of 2012 -- just off the top of my yarmulke-covered head. As always, please chime in and have your say below. Tell me the albums that touched your soul -- Jewish or otherwise -- this past year. All that said, tonight please watch CMA Country Christmas on ABC -- which I proudly wrote, kind of like how Irving Berlin wrote "White Christmas" -- then Friday take the whole mishpucha to go see an early showing of This Is 40 before the Mayans can be proven right in their heavily hyped prophesy -- that the world end before I ever appear in a major motion picture.
And in case the Mayans are wrong, please know that I am now openly seeking other rewarding film roles. Just call CAA and ask for my acting agent Shawna.
This Is 40 -- Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Graham Parker & The Rumour -- Three Chords Good
Bruce Springsteen -- Wrecking Ball
The Explorers Club - Grand Hotel
Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream
Best Coast - The Only Place
Jimmy Cliff - Rebirth
The Avett Brothers - The Carpenter
Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
Jack White - Blunderbuss
Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day
Bruno Mars -- Unauthordox Jukebox
Carrie Underwood -- Blown Away
Mumford & Sons - Babel
Bob Dylan - Tempest
Gary Clark Jr. - Blak and Blu
Curtis Stigers - Let's Go Out Tonight
Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls
Susanna Hoffs -- Someday
Ben Folds Five -- The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind
Celeste & Jesse Forever - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (digital only)
Dwight Yoakam -- 3 Pears
Patti Smith -- Banga
Ian Hunter & The Rant Band - When I'm President
Wallflowers -- Glad All Over
fun. - Some Nights
Jeff Lynne - Long Wave
Little Big Town - Tornado
Joe Walsh - Analog Man
Killer Mike - R.A.P Music
Aimee Mann - Charmer
John Mayer - Born & Raised
Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania
Loudon Wainwright III - Older Than My Old Man Now
Taylor Swift - Red
Rita Wilson - AM/FM
Counting Crows - Underwater Sunshine
CeeLo Green -- CeeLo's Magic Moment
Halestorm - The Strange Case Of . . .
Emeli Sande - Our Version Of Events
The Beach Boys - That's Why God Made The Radio
Happy Holidays. See You in The Movies.