In the words of our Tony Award winning Broadway equity actor and Platt Family Singers friend, Ben Platt, “The things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful.”
The incident made worldwide news on social media this past week, from The Los Angeles Times to JTA to Rolling Stone and The Jerusalem Post, and on to Jewlicious.
Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel interviewed (over Cisco) a young boy – now a man – from Media, Pennsylvania… a thirteen year old who had a Jimmy Kimmel Live! themed post bar mitzvah party. He even invited the esteemed (Christian) talk show host to his bar mitzvah and party.
Young William (Will) Rubin was called to the Torah on Shabbat, June 24, 2017, at Temple Sholom in Broomall, PA And there he read from Parshat Korach and gave a lovely drash, or so I hear.
Rubin, who aspires to late night talk show host stardom, chose a Kimmel themed after-party.
And who wouldn’t?
Poised and articulate, I see no reason to doubt his aspirations. He could surpass Kimmel, Guillerno, his older brother, or even Adam Goldberg, who hails from nearby Jenkintown (Goldberg is the creator / showrunner / producer of The Goldbergs on ABC-TV)
While other publications highlighted the Jimmy Kimmel interview and TV hijinks, we are highlighting Will Rubin’s brilliance at selecting a Kimmel-theme to reinforce the message of the parshah.
As you may recall, Korach, a leader of one of the tribes, out of his own egotism, tries to undermine the leadership of direction of Moses in the wilderness.
And isn’t that the story of late night network television, where shows and celebrities try to undermine each other, not for the benefit of the newly freed audiences, but for their own ratings?
Ok… enough drash. Now onto the the Kimmel segment (see video below).
Will Rubin and his family invited Jimmy Kimmel to the event.
Kimmel declined, but sent a lovely ice sculpture of the head of his sidekick, Guillermo (cheaper than crafting it in chopped liver). Kimmel asked for half of the money that Will received from his grandparents.
Kimmel, standing center stage, interviewed Rubin – sitting on his Philly suburban couch – live last Thursday about the bar mitzvah. But as the interview and jokes continued, out walked a t-shirted, bearded prophet to Kimmel’s stage. It was the Daily Show messiah of liberal, American Jews, Jon Stewart himself.
Stewart informed the newly minted teen that, “I’m Jon Stewart. I’m a talk-show host as well — I was, years ago… And I’m a Jew. You probably had your choice of idolizing any talk-show host, and you could have gone with a Jew, is what I’m saying.”
Stewart then laid a Jewish summer camp favorite on to a talkative Kimmel, imploring him to SHEKET B’VAKASHA!
Stewart continued, like a Delaware County, PA rabbi:
“Did you get that, Will?
Did you get that?
Do you know who didn’t get that joke?
Because he’s not a Jew!
Don’t be fooled by his learned-looking beard and his puffy, sad eyes.
He’s not rabbinical; he’s just unhealthy.
Will, wouldn’t you rather host a talk-show host who is also circumcised?
Will, I don’t know how I put this.
How do the kids say this?
He’s still wearing his hoodie.”
(Honestly, I don’t know if a thirteen year old would get the reference. I doubt that at 13, I knew the diff between a circ and non-circ genital) Also,… Sarah Silverman begs to differ about Kimmel’s …
Jimmy Kimmel (LIVE!) then offered a King Solomon-like compromise: perhaps – in the future – young Will Rubin could have a Jon Stewart-themed WEDDING.
As Will replied he would think about it, Stewart began to sing a phrase from Fiddler on the Roof: “Sunrise, Sunset.”
Someone get a chuppah ready!
Kimmel then reminded young Mister Rubin that Kimmel was owed half the bar mitzvah gift proceeds from his grandparents.
Rubin, hesitated,… but then, with great stage presence replied that he would instead donate the promised funds to the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital. (Click here if you would like to match his donation… I did)… or send one to Crozer Keystone, Philly’s Children’s Hospital, or Schneider Children’s Hospital in Israel.