Movie and TV news
Michael Bay, 48, is the director of “Pain & Gain,” a new action comedy opening Friday, April 26. It stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson as personal trainers caught up in a criminal enterprise. Bay, who has directed three “Transformers” movies, is a cousin of Susan Bay, 70, the wife of “Star Trek” icon Leonard Nimoy, 82.
Opening the same day is “Big Wedding,” a romantic comedy about nuptial tensions that threaten to spin out of control. It’s directed and written by Justin Zackham, 42, who wrote “The Bucket List.” The cast includes Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton and Amanda Seyfried. The groom is played by British actor Ben Barnes, 31, who played Prince Caspian in the last two “Chronicles of Narnia” films.
Comedian Amy Schumer, 31, a cousin of New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, 62, stars in the new Comedy Central series “Inside Amy Schumer,” starting at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30. Schumer explores provocative topics, including sex and relationships, through scripted vignettes, standup bits and street interviews.
The April 7 season premiere of AMC’s “Mad Men” introduced a new character, Bob Benson, played by James Wolk, 28. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Wolk brings “an intelligence and intensity” to his acting that “makes him more than just a pretty face.” The publication also reported that Wolk is working on a CBS pilot called “The Crazy Ones” starring Robin Williams, 61, and Sarah Michelle Gellar, 35, as father and daughter.
Jewish stars of the diamond
The following players were on the roster of a Major League Baseball team as of April 16: Ryan Braun, 29, outfielder, Milwaukee Brewers; former Oakand A’s relief pitcher Craig Breslow, 32, Boston Red Sox; Ike Davis, first baseman, New York Mets; Burlingame native Scott Feldman, pitcher, Chicago Cubs; Nate Freiman, 26, designated hitter/first baseman, Oakland A’s; Sam Fuld, 31, outfielder, Tampa Bay Rays; Ian Kinsler, 30, second baseman, Texas Rangers; Jason Marquis, 34, pitcher, San Diego Padres; Michael Schwimer, 27, pitcher, Toronto Blue Jays; Kevin Youkilis, 34, third and first baseman, New York Yankees.
Freiman, the only rookie in that group, is off to a slow start in his major-league career, playing only sparingly and hitting just .150 through Oakland’s first 21 games. However, he did hit his first big-league home run last week, a three-run blast in an 11-2 home win over the Houston Astros.
Frank Bank, who died April 13 at 71, played Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford on the sitcom “Leave It to Beaver.” Lumpy, who was a bit of a dolt, was a friend of Beaver’s older brother, Wally.
The son of a Los Angeles butcher, Bank went on to a career as a successful financial adviser. A colleague reports that he was very proud of being Jewish and that he knew the names of virtually every Jewish baseball player and film star.
Burt and bro mitzvahs
On Monday, April 29, CBS will air a “How I Met Your Mother” episode titled “The Bro-Mitzvah.” Don’t expect any Jewish content, though, as the episode is about the gang planning a bachelor party for Barney (Neil Patrick Harris). The gang includes Ted (Josh Radnor), Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan).
The Fox comedy “Raising Hope” had a raucous March 28 episode titled “Burt Mitzvah: The Musical.” After a character finds out his mom is Jewish, he goes on an odyssey in an attempt to absorb thousands of years of Jewish tradition in a few days. Among the musical numbers is one set in a Jewish deli. Look for it online or in reruns.
Columnist Nate Bloom, an Oaklander, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.