On Wednesday, November 15, 2005, the 92nd St. Y, one of the premier cultural institutions of New York, presents a special program titled "Stars of David" — Jason Alexander, Leonard Nimoy and Kyra Sedgwick: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish.
Jason Alexander, Leonard Nimoy and Kyra Sedgwick: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish. The "Stars of David," some of America’s most prominent Jews talk about their Jewish identity (or lack of one) and reveal how they became who they are today. Jason Alexander played George Costanza in Seinfeld. Leonard Nimoy, most famous as Mr. Spock in Star Trek, directed Three Men and a Baby and The Good Mother. Kyra Sedgwick is known for her film roles in Born on the Fourth of July and Something to Talk About and stars in TNT’s Closer. Celebrity guests subject to change.
As one of the premier Jewish bloggers in the Blogosphere, Citizen of the Month was invited to sit down and have a pre-program discussion with the three prominent Jewish celebrities.
Neil: Hello, all.
Leonard, Jason, and Kyra: Hello, Neilochka.
Neil: Let me start with you, Leonard. What was it like playing Spock, the only Jew on the Starship Enterprise?
Leonard: Spock was a Vulcan, not Jewish.
Neil: I always heard that the Vulcan hand sign was a Jewish thing?
Leonard: It’s actually based on a special priestly blessing gesture I once say in temple with my father…
Neil: Interesting. So, what was it like being the only Jewish actor on the set?
Leonard: Actually, William Shatner is Jewish. Every year on Passover, I throw this celebrity seder and…
Neil: Is Chekhov Jewish?
Leonard: Yes, Walter Koening is…
Neil: Thank God he wasn’t a Russian Russian. They’re a bunch of anti-Semites.
Leonard: Walter is not really…
Neil: I was wondering about this recently — do you think there will be anti-Semitism in space? Wherever we go, there always seems to be. With our luck, the Jews will be blamed for every meteor shower.
Leonard: I don’t know, but like I was saying, every Passover at my celebrity seder, Bill and I…
Neil: Bill doesn’t really use Priceline, does he? Because it just feeds into that "Jews are cheap" thing.
Jason: Excuse me, Neil, if I can step in for a sec. I really think we should focus more on the positive issues of Jewish identity.
Neil: Yes, yes, thank you, Jason. Actually, I was always wondering, was George Costanza Jewish?
Jason: Well, Larry and Jerry never really specified…
Neil: But they’re both Jewish, right?
Jason: Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld are both Jewish, yes.
Neil: So, why didn’t they specify that George was Jewish?
Jason: I think NBC was too worried that the show was too Jewish.
Neil: I see. I guess Jerry was Jewish. And Elaine was Jewish.
Jason: No, Elaine was Catholic.
Neil: Yeah, right. Elaine was like totally Jewish.
Jason: In the show, she was supposed to be Catholic.
Neil: Sure. But you know and I know that she was really Jewish. (to Leonard) Just like we all know that Sulu was always gay. Right, Leonard? You could see it in the way he held his phaser.
Leonard: Actually, I didn’t know about him. But I have this very funny story where one Passover, George Takei came over to my celebrity seder and he never had gefilte fish before and…
Jason: I throw a celebrity seder, too. A lot of Jerry’s friends come over. Comedians. You should hear Bob Saget read the Four Questions! Kyra, you were once at my celebrity seder, right?
Kyra: Yes, I was, Jason. It was a wonderful celebrity seder.
Neil: Kyra, I had no idea you were Jewish.
Kyra: I am.
Neil: You have one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood. But remind me again, what have you been in?
Kyra: I’ve been in many films, including…
Neil: But basically, you’ve most famous for being Kevin Bacon’s wife?
Kyra: Well, maybe is some circles, but I’ve also…
Neil: Don’t you find it ironic that someone Jewish marries someone named Bacon?
Kyra: I think that comment is a little rude. Kevin deeply respects the Jewish people.
Jason: Kevin attended my celebrity seder, also.
Leonard: Your little shindig sounds very nice, Jason, but my celebrity seder recently got a write-up in Los Angeles magazine where they called it the A-list celebrity seder.
Jason starts laughing.
Leonard: What’s so funny?
Jason: I’m sorry, Leonard, but George Hamilton is just not A-list any more.
Leonard: Listen, shmendrick, how kosher are those KFC drumsticks you hawk?
Jason: At least I’m not a pervert. I’ve seen those sick photos you call art of naked Jewish women wearing prayer shawls.
Leonard: My photos have been displayed in museums, you shlemazel!
Jason: Do you know who you’re talking to? I’m friends with Jerry Seinfeld! Jerry Seinfeld!
Leonard: Like I’m scared of your scrawny nebbish friend. And, by the way, how many failed sitcoms are you going to be in before you realize that you’ll always be George Costanza. And he wasn’t even Jewish!
Jason and Leonard stand, ready for a fight. Kyra runs in between them.
Kyra: Men! Men! Please! We’re all mishpocha here!
Jason: How would you like a Vulcan hand sign in your eyes, Nimoy?
Leonard: Your last sitcom was awful, you little pisher! Awful!
Jason: I spit on you, you alter kakher. I spit on your celebrity seder!
Leonard picks up a chair, threatening Jason.
Leonard: I’m going to break your head in half, like the afikomen!
Jason: (in Galican Yiddish) Sie haut gevain a courva in de momma’ s bouch.
Leonard: (in Lithuanian Yiddish) Shainera menchen haut me gelicht in drert.
Jason wrestles Leonard to the ground and they start fighting. Kyra runs away screaming.
Kyra: Kevin, Kevin, help me. A farbisener and a kvetch. Get me away from these crazy Jews!
Neil: (to you, my dear readers) Remember — Wednesday, November 15, 2005, the 92nd St. Y — "Stars of David" — Jason Alexander, Leonard Nimoy and Kyra Sedgwick: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish.