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Why there’s no ‘Happy Hanukkah Charlie Brown’

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12/01/2009

Why there’s no ‘Happy Hanukkah Charlie Brown’ photo

The Christmas season seems a great time to debunk one of those nasty rumors: that Jewish people run the media. Jewish people run the media? What a load of garbage. If Jews really ran the media, do you really think we would have allowed “Soul Plane” to be made? Two hours of Snoop Dogg getting high on a plane might be funny to some, but to me it’s a serious issue, and should be treated as such. That said, anyone with Snoop’s phone number is encouraged to contact me immediately.

Indeed, one may look no further than the annual holiday season to fully comprehend that the idea of Jews running the media is as big of a joke as the Bears having an effective offensive line. Or defensive line. Or running back. Or a chance to make the playoffs. Or a coach who knows what in God’s name he’s doing. Is it Cub’s season yet?

If Jews really ran the media, the holiday season would have an entirely different vibe, and Hanukkah wouldn’t take such a subjugate position to Christmas. Last I checked, there was never a very special Hanukkah episode of “The Facts Of Life”, “Mr. Belvedere”, or “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”. To my knowledge, there’s currently no annual airing of, “Happy Hanukkah, Charlie Brown!” on CBS. (Though, if there were, couldn’t you just see Snoopy and Woodstock doing their happy dance to a jazzy, piano version of “The Dreidel Song”? I sure can. You know, maybe hanging out with Snoop isn’t such a good idea.) And for all of the holiday music floating around out there, the only popular Hanukkah songs tend to be the exact same novelty tunes year after year by folks like Adam Sandler or, even worse, those cloying, cutesy Barenaked Ladies. When Jewish supergroup Guster recorded a holiday song a few years back, it was called called ‘Donde Esta Santa Claus”. Worse, Bob Dylan, whose real name is Robert Zimmerman, and who likely wrestled with whether or not to attend dental school back in the early 1960’s, just released a Christmas album. Even the Black Eyed Peas shout “Mazel Tov” in their latest hit, but not Mr. Dylan. Then again, Dylan’s cover of “My Humps” is pretty killer.

When Lite FM starts their all-Christmas music marathon on July 5th, you never hear any Hanukkah songs. And no TV show worth its’ Kosher salt dares to air a Hanukkah episode. This is no different in film or theater, either. Chevy Chase never made a movie called “National Lampoon’s Hanukkah Vacation,” Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn didn’t make a movie that 16 people saw (all of whom were on an international flight at the time) called “Four Hanukkahs,” and little orphan Annie didn’t give a damn about FDR’s New Deal for Hanukkah in “Annie.” (For those of you keeping score at home, yes; I did just refer to both the Bears’ offensive line and an obscure song from “Annie” in the same blog. I’m a little bit proud and a whole lot ashamed.)

But you know what? Christmas fever doesn’t bother me. In fact, despite being 100% Jewish, I am, and always have been, a Christmas-Loving Jew. Perhaps it’s the inordinate number of Catholic women I’ve dated, or my strange and insatiable desire for those egg shaped Reeses Peanut Butter Cups only available during Easter (trust me – they somehow taste better than Reeses’ traditional variation). Whatever the reason, I’ve long gravitated towards Christmas as a cheerful, non-religious addendum of joy and festive times; not to mention a legitimate excuse to get drunk a lot in December.  And it’s not too late for you to join the bandwagon! By all means, continue to spend your eight nights eating latkes, lighting menorahs, and spinning dreidels with family. But don’t feel too guilty the next time you’re at Walgreens and start singing along to the dogs barking “Jingle Bells,” Nat King Cole’s homage to chestnuts roasting, or Paul McCartney simply having a “Wonderful Christmastime.”

Just keep in mind that if we Jews really ran the media, there’d be none of those catchy Christmas ditties to sing along to. Frosty the Snowman would have said “who cares about a little melting, I’m going to Boca for the winter.”  And Rudolph would have had a good plastic surgeon to correct his “nose issues” just in time for his little reindeer bar-mitzvah, destroying his entire mystique. So as much as I hate to crush the dreams of the “angry-at-everyone-who-doesn’t-look-like-them” FOX “News” types who scream and cry that Christmas is being taken away from them, it’s not our fault! Jews don’t run the media. We’re more like those BASF commercials from the 1980’s: we don’t make the media, we make the media better. So who can blame us if, every now and then, even we need a little Christmas?

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