The Jewish stars of 2015’s midseason TV

February 11, 2015 - garden totes

Marissa Jaret Winokur. Photo by Kyle Christy/TLC

She won a Tony endowment for “Hairspray” and has seemed in a cinema “American Beauty” and “Fever Pitch” and TV’s “Dancing With a Stars,” “The Talk,” and had new repeated roles on a sitcoms “Melissa Joey” and “Playing House.” Now Marissa Jaret Winokur is honestly articulate “All About Sex” on a Saturday night speak uncover on TLC.

“I’m unequivocally a slightest gifted of a organisation for certain and a slightest gentle articulate about it than a rest of a panel,” Winokur said, referring to a roundtable that includes Margaret Cho, Heather McDonald and Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry. “But we don’t mind articulate about it. I’ve schooled that I’m not as associating as we suspicion we was, though we never suspicion of sex as a ashamed thing. We were told ‘Don’t do it’—I didn’t listen, though we didn’t hatred myself for doing it!” 

The New York internal and stream San Fernando Valley proprietor has been married to author Judah Miller for 8 years, and they have a son, Zev, 61/2, a sports-loving child who is “very meddlesome in his Jewish heritage. We go to church given he loves it, and it’s forcing my father and [me] to take a bigger part,” pronounced Winokur, who wasn’t formerly a synagogue member. But, she said, she has always felt strongly about her possess Jewish heritage.

“It sounds ‘Fiddler on a Roof,’ though it’s about family; it’s about tradition. Sometimes we don’t know given we do things, though we do them, and we respect a past. we speak to my son about being Jewish and what that means. He already knows about a Holocaust. You have to learn it so it doesn’t occur again.” 

Winokur misses a theatre and “would go behind tomorrow for a right show. But to collect adult my life and move, it’s going to have to run for a year, or it’s usually so good we have to do it.” Meanwhile, she has started to write, operative on a Web array with a partner and a book she described as “love yourself, weight loss, self-help, though funny.” Besides being fun, essay gives her a artistic control she never gets as an actress. “This is my subsequent chapter,” she said. 

 “All About Sex” front Saturdays during 11 p.m on TLC.


In a FX array “The Comedians,” Billy Crystal and Josh Gad play fictionalized versions of themselves, comedy stars from opposite generations who are reluctantly interconnected on a new show. It’s an present strife of egos, comic sensibilities, and a waggish send-up of Hollywood. Based on a Swedish array though tailored to a stars’ skills, it also reflects their Jewishness.

Billy Crystal and Josh Gad. Photo credit, Ray Mickshaw/FX 

“It comes adult once in a while and always in a unequivocally certain way. It is who we are,” says Crystal, whose infirm influences were a Jewish comedy stars of a 1950s and ‘60s, Phil Silvers, Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks. He became wakeful of his possess comic ability early on. “I had a joyous house, a lot of kin always. It was a behaving room. we got adult and desired it. we was bending and I’m still doing it.” 

Not surprisingly, Gad names Crystal as a comic inspiration. He remembers examination Crystal on “Comic Relief V,” and thinking, “’That’s what we wish to do. That’s a kind of hostess that we wish to be.’ Whether it was his cinema like ‘The Princess Bride’ or ‘When Harry Met Sally’ or ‘Saturday Night Live’ or his stints as Oscar host, that got me so vehement and anxious about operative with this legend.”

Gad, a voice of “Frozen” snowman Olaf, also grown his clarity of amusement early—out of necessity. “I attempted to be a comedic force in a residence when my relatives went by a divorce, to take divided a pain in a house, and we knew that that was something that we was good at.”

With a resumé that includes “City Slickers,” “Soap,” and “Monsters Inc./University” to “700 Sundays” on Broadway and his bestselling journal “Still Foolin’ ’Em,” Crystal, during 66, is energized about a future.

“The final integrate years have been some of a best years of my career.  I’ve been as bustling as ever. With this show, it feels like doing ‘SNL’ in 1985 again,” he said. “I’m usually unequivocally blessed.” 

“The Comedians” premieres on Apr. 9 during 10 p.m. on FX


Miriam Shor has played characters distracted from a church lady married to a happy male in “GCB” to a Jewish drag black in “Hedwig and a Angry Inch.”  With other credits including “Swingtown,” ”The Good Wife,” and “Damages,” she’ll shortly supplement “Younger” to her resumé.

Miriam Shor. Photo pleasantness of TV Land

In a TV Land comedy starring Sutton Foster as a divorced lady who gets a childish makeover to land a job, Shor plays Diana Trout, a trainer not distinct Meryl Streep’s impression in “The Devil Wears Prada.” 

“She aspires to be that lady and fails, and that’s where a amusement comes in,” Shor said. “She’s gallant to contend what she thinks. There’s something engaging about a lady in a position of energy who is unfortunate to contend that power. But there are unequivocally cracks in her armor that we get to see here and there.”

Shor was drawn to a character, book and a fact that a array was shot 10 mins over a Brooklyn Bridge from a Manhattan unit she shares with her husband, actor Justin Hagan, and their daughters Ruby, 5, and Iris, 11/2. Born in Minneapolis, Shor’s lived in New York for 20 years and loves it for a arts, culture, and restaurants it offers. “I’m a terrible cook,” she confessed.

Raised by an Irish-Catholic mom and Jewish father who divorced when she was 7, Shor schooled Yiddish attending Sunday propagandize during a Workman’s Circle. “For my dad, Judaism was about intellectualism and activism, things that were critical to my mom as well,” she said. She grew adult celebrating both Chanukah and Christmas, something she does with her family currently (Hagan is not Jewish). “Judaism is my heritage, therefore it’s my kids’ heritage. we wish them to applaud it and be meddlesome in it.”

Shor, whose initial museum pursuit in New York was personification a villager and understudying Hodel in “Fiddler on a Roof,” confided that she “had a good time in my 20s, though my 30s are when all a large things happened. I’d adore to go behind and tumble in adore with my father again or have my initial child. But we don’t have any large regrets.”

Unlike a protagonist of “Younger,” she doesn’t worry about aging. “I’m some-more of a impression actor, and we find a use of my face flattering critical in what we do. I’m 43, and some things will never be a same as they were when we was in my 20s. But altering things does not interest to me. we don’t wish to be frozen,” she said. “I’ll wait and see what we demeanour like when I’m 50,” she added. “Maybe I’ll change my mind.” 

“Younger” premieres Mar. 31 during 10 p.m. on TV Land.


Emmanuelle Chriqui was anxious to land a pivotal purpose of Herodia in National Geographic Channel’s three-hour play “Killing Jesus, her initial Jewish character. “Finally!” she thought. “But does she have to be so evil?” The book trumped her misgivings. “I was riveted,” she said, and flew to Morocco to play a mom of King Herod and mom of Salome, “the many hated black in history.” 

Emmanuelle Chriqui during a 2008 Toronto International Film Festival. Photo around Wikipedia.

“I like doing period—I like anything we can penetrate my teeth into,” pronounced Chriqui, who did usually that in Showtime’s “The Borgias.” But it was her purpose as Sloan in HBO’s “Entourage” that altered a landscape of her career. The rarely expected supplement will be expelled Jun 5. “It picks adult where a uncover left off. Sloan’s profound for many of a movie,” she said. “The fans are going to adore it.”

Chriqui has been bustling of late with film projects like a indie comedies “Three Night Stand” and “The Steps,” and if she’s not expel in something else this spring, she skeleton to go to Israel during a invitation of a Schusterman Foundation. Chriqui went to Israel for a initial time 8 years ago, and is exited about going back. She feels deeply connected to her Jewish heritage. 

“Being a Jew to me is a unequivocally large partial of my temperament and how we work in this world,” says a daughter of Moroccan-Jewish parents, who was innate in Montreal and grew adult in Toronto. She has lustful memories of Friday night Shabbat dinners and has recreated that with a “Shabbat crew” she shaped in Los Angeles.

“It varies from 8 to 25 people. We have this protocol where we lay around a list and speak about a week we had and what we wish a week to be. It’s devout and it’s rich. We also did Rosh Hashanah final year,” pronounced Chriqui. “My family is in Canada, and infrequently I’d come home from a plcae and my actor friends weren’t home, and we usually fell into a basin about it. we didn’t even know what it was related to, though we unequivocally struggled with that skip of community. Miraculously, this Shabbat organisation formed, and it has altered my life, given it has given it such low definition and a clarity of village in an differently unequivocally smart place.”

Chriqui doesn’t go to a synagogue. “I kind of drop into opposite places on Yom Kippur if I’m in town,” she said. “I like to hear a shofar somewhere.” 

“Killing Jesus” premieres this open on National Geographic Channel.


Eugene Levy’s resumé is full of remarkable roles in comedies like “Best in Show,” “Waiting For Guffman,” “Bringing down a House,“ and a “American Pie” series. This month he adds “Schitt’s Creek” to a list. In a Pop TV series, Levy stars as Johnny Rose, primogenitor of a rich family that loses all solely for a outline suggested city they once bought as a joke.

Annie Murphy, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy. Photo pleasantness of Pop TV

Rose, who is Jewish, is married to a soap star (Levy’s “SCTV” costar Catherine O’Hara), who is not, and they have dual marred children, played by Levy’s son Daniel and Annie Murphy. Daniel, a former MTV Canada personality, came adult with a thought for a show, and wrote it with his father. “I unequivocally had no thought how distant we could take it or either he had what it takes to mountain something so major,” pronounced Levy, who was gratified to learn Daniel’s talent as a author and actor. His daughter, Sarah, also has a purpose in a series.

“Johnny Rose is one of a straightest characters we have ever played, who comes closest to me as a chairman as well. we like reactive comedy and we get a possibility to conflict to some unequivocally humorous people in this show,” pronounced Levy. He’s aware, however, that audiences competence feel a Roses are removing what they deserve.

“People who have income to bake don’t get a lot of empathy,” he acknowledged. “But a fact that they were not obliged for their misfortune–they got ripped off by their Bernie Madoff-like business manager–does emanate some grade of empathy. And a fact that they are now training to duty as a family for a initial time also creates consolation for them. The fish out of H2O unfolding does make them likeable.” He also forked out that Schitt ”is a legitimate family surname, and aptly describes a Rose family’s plight.”

A internal of Hamilton, Ontario, Levy “grew adult in a golden age of television. Just about each comedian was Jewish. Watching Jack Benny, Phil Silvers, Shecky Greene, Myron Cohen, Sam Levinson and Red Buttons with my family gave me a clarity of honour and positively laxity and reciprocity with these great, humorous people,” he said.

Not quite religious, “Being Jewish to me is positively some-more of a informative thing,” Levy said. “But we remember fondly good times with my family flourishing up, sitting around a list during High Holidays and Passover, and going to synagogue, and we try to keep a tradition of family and food going with my possess family.” He removed good times spent with his late parents, uncles and aunts, and their “Jewish take on all things” that permeated family gatherings. “A Jewish sensibility underpinned many of a laughs that relate by a chambers of my memory,” Levy noted. “Being Jewish to me was always some-more about family, food, laughing, and meaningful right from wrong.” 

Levy’s voice will be listened in a charcterised “Finding Nemo” supplement “Finding Dory”, personification a father of Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) alongside Diane Keaton as Dory’s mother. It’s due out in Jun 2016.

“Schitt’s Creek” premieres Feb. 11 during 10 p.m. on Pop TV.


Adam Levy admittedly didn’t know many about a New Testament before he was expel as Peter in “A.D.,” NBC’s miniseries about a crucifixion of Jesus Christ and a aftermath. But a British-born Jewish actor enthralled himself in research, and happily took on “one of a outrageous roles in history. Peter was innate and died a Jew,” he reminded. “There was no such things as a Christian during a time.” 

Adam Levy. Photo credit, Joe Alblas/LightWorkers Media/NBC

“A.D.” shoots in Morocco, where biblical Jerusalem was recreated in a desert. “The sets are so beautiful. It’s so immersive to be there,” pronounced Levy, who has been to a genuine city many times. His Sephardic father, who was innate in Baghdad, emigrated to Tel Aviv and married a actor’s Russian-Jewish mother.

Levy, who danced ballet from age 4 to 18, segued to a theatre and lerned during The Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art, “which my relatives were not gratified about. They wanted me to be a counsel or alloy or get a scold job.”

While he’s had tiny roles in “Gladiator,” “Rome” and a British array “Coronation Street,” his bread and butter is a theater. “I did ‘The Sunshine Boys’ final year in a West End with Danny DeVito and Judd Hirsch. “I’ve played a lot of Jewish Americans,” he said. “If we get Jewish-American down in London, there’s a large marketplace for it and you’ll be employed.”

Levy lives with his wife, and children, a son and daughter who attend a Jewish school, in North London, though he’s confident about meetings he set adult in L.A. before to filming a final episodes of a array as he’s fervent to work in America and internationally.  “I wish it will happen,” he said. 

“A.D.” premieres Apr. 5 during 9 p.m. on NBC.


Who wouldn’t wish a possibility to go behind and scold your mistakes? VH1’s “Hindsight” is that arrange of wish accomplishment show, moving a heroine (Laura Ramsey) behind to 1995, where she can remove dual decades of damage. That includes reconnecting with her best crony Lolly Levine, played by Canadian singer Sarah Goldberg

Laura Ramsey and Sarah Goldberg. Photo pleasantness of VH1

“Lolly is a giveaway spirited, patent-purple-Doc Marten-wearing, oddball philosopher who could splash a Russian soldier underneath a table, so she is a demonstration to play,” Goldberg summed up.

Just 10 in ’95, she nostalgically remembers “ ‘My So Called Life,’ pagers, ‘smoking sections’, and ‘Jagged Little Pill,’ a intrigue of churned tapes, and a awkwardness of compensate phones.” But if she were thrown behind in time, she would many skip “being means to attend my happy friends’ weddings.” She wouldn’t wish a ‘do over.’  “I have been flattering propitious in this life, though there are moments we would lapse to for a thrill.” 

Goldberg’s initial theatre knowledge was in a pre-school prolongation of “The Owl and a Pussycat,” though it was personification Gwendolen Fairfax in “The Importance of Being Earnest” during age 11 that bending her. “There is a leisure in TV and film in that we can be unequivocally insinuate with your assembly though we am happiest in a theater,” she said, adding that a Chekhov play is on her wish list.

Growing up, she was “one of a usually Jews in my class, so everybody wanted to come to my residence after school. We had a best bagels. we have an diseased adore for carbohydrates, interjection to a brigade of aged Jewish ladies in my life frequently cheering ‘Eat something. You’re too thin!’” She also has a adore of reading that she traces to her grandfather.  “He used to cheat me to read, 10 bucks per book report. “Needless to say, we was an zealous reader from an early age.” 

Although she is not religious, she feels strongly about being Jewish. “For me it is all about honoring my family who survived World War II as Eastern European Jews, revelation their stories and safeguarding their memories. They survived so many slaughter so that we competence live this bewitched life,” Goldberg said, observant that she lives in London, stuffing her time “with walks on Hampstead Heath and pints during my internal pub” when she’s not working. 

She’s happy to be personification a half-Jewish impression in “Hindsight.” “Wait compartment a Christmas partial and play ‘spot a menorah!’” she said.  

“Hindsight” front Wednesdays during 9 p.m. on VHI.


Amanda Peet is no foreigner to comedy, both on TV and film, with credits including “Something’s Gotta Give,” “Identity Thief”, “Jack Jill,” “Trust Me,” and “Bent,” to name a few. But in HBO’s “Togetherness,” she has one of her best roles nonetheless as Tina, one of a party of unsettled adults who finds doubtful intrigue with her brother-in-law’s friend. 

Amanda Peet. Photo credit, Prashant Gupta/HBO

“It’s unequivocally good created and has implausible attraction about relations and work struggles, abandoned of tenderness though with a good clarity of humor,” Peet pronounced of given she was drawn to a part. It’s her initial given 2013, carrying taken off time to have her third child, Henry, innate in December.

Married given 2006 to author David Benioff, who co-created “Game of Thrones” and is a uncover runner, Peet is also a mom of Molly, 4, and Frances, whose eighth birthday is Feb. 20. The family spends summers in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where “Thrones” shoots. “It’s not suitable for them to watch, though we take them to a set to see a costumes, a dragons, a horses and accommodate a implausible people that work behind a scenes.” 

Peet confessed that she’d like to enclose one of those costumes herself, and constantly asks Benioff what roles are entrance up. “I would play any partial in ‘Game of Thrones,’” she said, fervent to take on a duration drama. “I’d adore to get in a corset and float a equine by a moors in Scotland.” 

The daughter of a Jewish mom and a Quaker father, Peet was innate and lifted in New York City. “My father isn’t Jewish, so we grew adult with a Christmas tree, though we’re not doing that anymore,” she said. Benioff is Jewish, and a family celebrates Chanukah, though she has had to explain to her children given they don’t applaud Christmas. That stirred her to co-write a book called “Dear Santa, Love Rachel Rosenstein,” that will be out after this year. “I wrote a play a integrate of years ago, and we find it exhilarating. we use opposite tools of myself,” she pronounced of writing. “It’s been a unequivocally smashing kind of new beginning.”

“Togetherness” front Sundays during 9:30 p.m. on HBO.


Robert Smigel is a successful comedy author whose credits embody “Saturday Night Live,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Hotel Transylvania,” and “You Don’t Mess with a Zohan.” He’s also a male behind a hilariously pretentious puppet Triumph a Insult Comic Dog, who stars with Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock”) in a Adult Swim sitcom “The Jack and Triumph Show.” The premise, co-created by Smigel, casts a dual as former kid’s uncover co-stars incited roommates. For a many part, “I’m behind a accumulation of couches and chairs,” Smigel said.

Jack McBrayer and Triumph. Photo pleasantness of Adult Swim

He initial brought a wanton dog to life on O’Brien’s show, where he was a conduct writer, “around 1997,” doing sketches and after on-the-street bits. “It started as a satire of insult comics, and it developed into this other thing,” Smigel said. “But I’ve never unequivocally wanted to harm people’s feelings in a critical approach with Triumph. We do plea people and contend oppressive things, though I’m some-more meddlesome in doing it with people who are adult for it.” At a “Star Wars” convention, he recalled, “Kids were most backing adult to be angry by Triumph.”

The strange Triumph puppet, that Smigel found in a seat store, melted after it was left on a windowsill. “We kept shopping new ones, though they went out of business so we built a mold, and we have a uninformed supply of heads,” he explained. He totes Triumph around in a cosmetic bag from Old Navy or Duane Reade. “It’s unequivocally all he deserves,” he quipped. 

A New York City internal who lives there with his mom and 3 sons, Smigel was lifted in and keeps a kosher home. Judaism is “very critical to me,” he said. Viewers of “Jack and Triumph” will see such Jewish references as Triumph attempting to ‘accidentally’ bake down a doghouse with illuminated menorah candles.

Smigel, whose eldest son has autism, is one of a talents behind “Night of Too Many Stars,” a advantage for New York Collaborates For Autism hosted by Jon Stewart that will premiere on Comedy Central Mar 8. 

“The Jack and Triumph Show” premieres Feb. 20 during 11:30 p.m. on Adult Swim.


The register of Jewish TV characters will enhance this open with a premiere of “Weird Loners,” a Fox comedy about 4 relationship-challenged thirty-somethings who forge a bond in a Queens, N.Y. brownstone. Becki Newton (“Ugly Betty”) plays Caryn Goldfarb, a adopted daughter of a Jewish family, and Jewish actresses Susie Essman and Renee Taylor have been expel as her mom and grandmother.

Becki Newton. Photo credit, Emily Shur/Fox

For Newton, who isn’t Jewish, it’s been a bit of a training curve. In a third episode, a dream method compulsory her to say, “Where’d we censor a afikomen?” “I had to ask how to pronounce it,” she recalled 

The purpose appealed to her immediately, in sole Caryn’s “overzealous nature. When she gets an idea, there’s no in between. She goes from 0 to 5000 unequivocally quickly.” In reality, she added, “I’m many some-more paltry than a characters we play, that is fun. we wouldn’t wish it a other approach around, crazy in genuine life and tedious on TV.”

Newton, a Connecticut native, “moved to New York and started doing commercials with a European story grade in my behind pocket. we finished adult on ‘Ugly Betty’ a week after doing an Olive Garden blurb and a month after that we was during a Golden Globes, station in line with Angelina Jolie,” she said. “‘Ugly Betty’ was such a rising pad to try opposite things. It’s some-more than we ever illusory we would get to do.”

“Weird Loners” premieres Mar. 31 during 9:30 p.m. on Fox.


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