Jews in the News: Jerry Seinfeld, Rosanne Barr and Ryan Turell

Seinfeld on Netflix and on Barr

The hit interview show, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” hosted by JERRY SEINFELD, 64, began streaming on Netflix last Friday (it moved over from Crackle, another streaming service). The 12-episode season includes an interview with the late JERRY LEWIS.

Seinfeld recently weighed in on the whole controversy surrounding ROSEANNE BARR, 65. Among other things, Jerry suggested that another actress be hired to play the Roseanne Connor character in the second season of the “Roseanne” show revival.

He told Entertainment Tonight: “I think they should get another Roseanne. They brought Dan Conner back, he was dead and they brought him back. So, why can’t we get another Roseanne. There are other funny women that could do that part.” (Dan was killed off in the original series and his death was explained away in the revival as a dream that Roseanne had).

I beg to disagree with Mr. Seinfeld. Sure, Dan was killed off and two actresses played the part of Roseanne’s older daughter in the original series. But the odds of finding an actress who could pull off Roseanne’s replacement are tiny. The “make-or-break” pressure on any actress would be enormous. She would be “toast” if the ratings slipped even a bit after the huge “look-in” audience for the first replacement “Roseanne” episode. Maybe only Meryl Streep could pull it off. Now if they got Meryl (not likely) that would be a hoot—consider the irony: someone who President Trump hates playing his “favorite” TV character.

If 50 or so People Died at Once--- a Jew Could be on the Throne

Now streaming on Hulu is “A Very English Scandal,” a 3-episode BBC series. It stars Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe (1929-2004), the British Liberal Party leader from 1970-76. Thorpe was a charismatic, articulate man who was at the cusp of real power several times (via a coalition with another, bigger party).  His political career ended when he was accused of being involved in a plot to murder a man he had a same-sex affair with.  The series, which got good reviews, was directed by STEPHEN FREARS, 77, a two-time Oscar nominee.

Thorpe was married to Marion Stein (1926-2017) from 1973 until his death.  Her “Jewish” last name made me look Stein up.  Born in Vienna, she fled to the U.K. in 1938, along with her parents. Her Jewish father, ERWIN STEIN, was a prominent musician. Obits seem to imply her mother wasn’t Jewish; but her maternal grandmother’s maiden name was “Cohn”, so my “research jury” is still out about Marion being Jewish (at least in a halachic sense). Stein was a beautiful woman and a talented concert pianist. Her first husband, George Lascelles, the Duke of Harwood, was Queen Elizabeth’s first cousin (his mother and her father were siblings).  At his birth, Lascelles was 6th in line to the throne. Stein wed the Duke in an Anglican ceremony and I presume she adopted his faith. They had two sons. The elder son, the present Duke, is as close as a “possibly” halachic Jew has ever come to the throne. 

By the way, Queen Mary, the grandmother of Geo. Lascelles and Queen Elizabeth II, initially objected to Stein joining the extended royal family. Lascelles once summed up Mary’s objections to Stein in three words: “Jewish. Doesn’t hunt.”

Sport Shorts

RYAN TURELL, 18, a 2018 graduate of Valley Torah High School in Los Angeles, was the best Jewish school basketball player in the country during his senior year. Turell lead his team to a 29-8 league record as he put up great personal offensive numbers.  He was heavily recruited by “big-time basketball” Division I colleges and universities (including two service academies). Ultimately, however, he decided late this spring that he couldn’t go to a college where observing Shabbos would be difficult.  He’ll be attending Yeshiva University, a Division III school, this fall.

The World Cup (soccer) final game will be played this Sunday, July 15th.  As I write this, there is a remote chance that Russia will make the final.  Russia has one Jewish player: VLADIMIR GRANAT, 31, a defenseman who has been a pro since 2004. He’s played for the Russian national team since 2011. He also played for Russia in the 2014 World Cup. He was a member of the Russian Maccabi team and he played in the 2017 Maccabiah Games in Israel. (Thanks to Jewish Sports Review magazine for this tip).


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