Celebrity Jews

Friday, August 20, 2004 | by nate bloom

A fun couple

“Seinfeld” co-creator and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star Larry David and his wife, Laurie David, are profiled in September’s Atlantic magazine.

In real life, Larry is a curmudgeon like the one he plays in “Curb.” He doesn’t share Laurie’s straight-ahead enthusiasm for liberal causes, some of which, he acidly notes, he never heard Laurie talk about until “Seinfeld” made her a rich woman. (She retorts, “I want to thank my husband, whose disdain for mankind has allowed me to work on its behalf.”)

Larry’s only professional advice about his wife’s public speaking: “Not so Jewish.” As for his hybrid gas-electric car, Larry denies buying it to please his activist wife. “The Prius is the only car that didn’t have that console in the way, which gives you more legroom. That’s why I bought it. I liked the legroom and I liked the way it looked. The gas mileage was last on my list. If anybody says I bought it for [Laurie], I’ll punch them in the mouth.”

Larry David will be interviewed Oct. 1 by KQED’s Michael Krasny at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. In November, the first three seasons of “Seinfeld” will come out on DVD.

Talking head only

Natalie Portman wore a T-shirt with John Kerry’s name on her chest when she recently hit the talk shows, promoting her film “Garden State.” Morning talk shows shot her from the neck up — explaining that “equal time” laws might require it. Still, it seems like election-year cowardice and we doubt networks will have a problem showing a racy clip of Portman’s next film, “Closer,” in which she plays a stripper.

Written by Jewish playwright Patrick Marber, “Closer” is directed by Mike Nichols and opens in December. Portman just said of Nichols in Interview magazine: “He came to see me in ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ [1997] when I was 16, and that was the first time we met. He really is a wonderful person.” She also told Interview that she never thought of not going to college: “I’m from the Jewish suburbs — in that world, you go to college after high school.”


Comedians had a field day when actresses Courteney Cox-Arquette and Gwyneth Paltrow gave birth to daughters last spring and named them, respectively, Coco and Apple. Some wags said the names sounded like they came off cereal boxes.

Coco’s father, actor David Arquette, whose late mother was Jewish, recently explained the name on a talk show. He said that his non-Jewish mother-in-law’s name is Courteney Cox, too, and that Cox family tradition is to name daughter after mother. He added that his “half-Jewish” (his words) upbringing didn’t allow him to name his daughter after a living person. Coco, Arquette explained, is his mother-in-law’s nickname and that’s why they picked it. He didn’t have to add that it’s lucky her nickname isn’t Capt. Crunch.

‘Semitophilic auds’?

Variety, the paper famous for its showbiz speak, topped itself with its review of “Papa,” a Russian film with a Jewish theme that just opened and may come to America. An excerpt: “Even the most softhearted Semitophilic auds might wince at the hokey ethnic caricatures displayed here, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the days when Yiddish theater was wowing them in Petrograd.”

Translation: “Auds” is “audience,” Semitophilic” means a person who loves Jewish things and “Papa” is a shmaltzy mess.

Meanwhile, last week Semitophilic teens picked Adam Sandler and Adam Brody (star of the TV show “The O.C.”) as winners of the MTV Teen Choice Awards.

Columnist Nate Bloom, an Oaklander, can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).