Not many people know this about the 7-foot basketball star, but his Jewbellish score was pretty high! Watch this 8-minute ESPN documentary about his start in the Borscht Belt >>
In 1954, before his senior year of high school, Wilt Chamberlain took a summer job that would change his life. He worked as a bellhop at Kutshers Country Club, a Jewish resort in the Catskill Mountains. By day he was making 2 dollars an hour and getting great tips from the awestruck guests as he lifted their luggage through a second floor window while standing outside on the ground.
At night, he played on the Kutshers basketball team and was coached hard by the resorts athletic director, the soon-to-be legendary Red Auerbach. Mixing rarely-seen archival video and interviews with people who lived and worked with Wilt during that magical summer, this documentary short reveals an unexplored and pivotal chapter in the life of one of basketballs greatest players, and a fascinating glimpse of a time when a very different era of basketball met the Borscht Belt in its heyday.
Funnyman Seth MacFarlane was replaced as host of the Oscars due to anti-Semitic jokes, according to The Forward.
Can gentiles make Jewish jokes? Can white folks make black jokes? This has always been the big question that most comedians have. Some cross the line but most play it safe and only make fun of their ‘own kind’. Seinfeld had this episode addressing the longtime comedian ‘honor code’ implying that only Jews can make Jewish jokes and a conversion won’t help if one converts solely for the jokes:
What are your thoughts? Was it the right thing to replace the edgy gentile for the safer gentile? Should they have over compensated and gave the hosting gig to Woody Allen or Larry David? Can gentiles make edgy Jewish jokes?
The Forward on MacFarlane being replaced:
LOS ANGELES – Comedian Ellen DeGeneres has been chosen to host the annual Oscars telecast in March, after last year’s host and “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane got into hot water over jokes about Jews in Hollywood and provocative dance routines.
This would be her second stint as master of ceremonies for the Oscars. DeGeneres, the star of her own daytime talk show “Ellen,” previously hosted the Academy Awards, the film industry’s highest honors, in 2007.
“I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time,” DeGeneres said in a statement. “You know what they say – the third time’s the charm.”
DeGeneres, 55, earned an Emmy nomination for her performance in 2007 in which she departed from traditional Oscar hosting decorum and ventured into the audience for spot gags, at one point handing director Martin Scorsese a script of her own.
Whoopi Goldberg and DeGeneres are the only women to have served as solo hosts of the Oscars. Goldberg has hosted the Oscars four times, most recently in 2002.
Disney-owned ABC will broadcast the Oscars on March 2.
The Forward on Macfarlane’s Jew issues:
The animated sitcom “Family Guy” isn’t exactly high art. The Sunday night, 30-minute program, which airs on the Fox television network, is filled with off-color jokes. Nonetheless, many fans were disappointed when the show’s creator, Seth MacFarlane, took things to a new extreme November 8 during a variety special titled “‘Family Guy’ Presents: Seth and Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show.”
In the special, part of a Fox night of programming celebrating MacFarlane with multiple “Family Guy” episodes, the screenwriter’s Jewish co-star, Alex Borstein, (who, like MacFarlane, voices a character on the animated series), protests his singing “Edelweiss” from “The Sound of Music,” a tribute to Austria. MacFarlane tells Borstein that the television show is not the place to bring out her “Hebrew baggage.” Still arguing, Borstein reveals that her mother and grandmother “barely escaped” the Nazis. In response, MacFarlane implies that if World War II were never to have occurred, Borstein would have more competition in Hollywood from Jewish female comedians. “Right now, it’s just you and Sarah Silverman,” he says. Defeated, Borstein joins MacFarlane in song.
The variety show included a bit that mocks Jewish actress Marlee Matlin, who is deaf. When asked if she found the show’s controversial jokes offensive, Matlin told EW.com: “Offensive. No. Sick, very. But that’s Seth and Alex. Humor comes in all forms and everyone has their cup of tea about what makes them laugh.”
Questions regarding MacFarlane’s humor about Jews have long circulated. In 2000, he penned a “Family Guy” episode titled “Once Upon a Weinstein.” The show’s Catholic protagonist, Peter, happens upon a Jewish man, and the encounter leads him to conclude that converting his dim-witted son, Chris, to Judaism will increase the boy’s intelligence. Father and son race off to Las Vegas for an instant bar mitzvah, prevented only by the family matriarch, Lois. Due to its controversial content, the episode did not air for several years.
In October, the Forward reported that Fox took flack for airing an episode titled “Family Goy,” in which Lois discovers her mother is Jewish. The episode was laden with stereotypes.