Interview: Comedian Rob Tannenbaum of Good for the Jews
The holidays seem to start earlier and earlier with each passing year. Soon after the Halloween decorations are taken down, cities become wrapped in tinsel and holiday music takes over the airwaves. However, amidst the grand seasonal spectacle, sometimes Hanukkah receives only a token decoration or the occasional play of the "The Dreidel Song." It is for that reason that Rob Tannenbaum and David Fagin formed Good for the Jews, a musical comedy group determined to "put the Ha! in Hanukkah."Their show is a hilarious, edgy celebration of all things Jewish, and this Wednesday, Good for the Jews will perform at Largo at the Coronet. Last week, LAist spoke with Tannenbaum—who is also a well-known music journalist—to discuss Jewish music, how he "converted" Moby, and the special guests scheduled to appear on Wednesday night.
Your show can be described in so many ways, and the term "lovingly irreverent" often pops up in one form or another. What's your favorite way to describe it?
I like to say that we make Jewish music for people who don't like Jewish music. Which really describes my experience. A lot of people think that the "Jewish music" you hear in Hebrew school is all there is to it, which is a shame. In the broader sense, Jewish music is rock 'n' roll. It is essentially the history of 20th century music—whether it's Irving Berlin, the Gershwins, Oscar Hammerstein, the Brill Building, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen or Joey Ramone. I consider all of that to be Jewish music, including Mel Brooks, who is one of the great Jewish songwriters.