The Emmy Awards, hosted by Berkeley native Andy Samberg, 37, airs at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20 on Fox TV. Here are the Jewish nominees.
Acting: Liev Schreiber, 47, lead actor, drama series, “Ray Donovan”; San Francisco native Jeffrey Tambor, 71, lead actor, comedy series, “Transparent”; Lisa Kudrow, 52, lead actress, comedy series, “The Comeback”; Amy Schumer, 34, lead actress, comedy series, “Inside Amy Schumer”; Maggie Gyllenhaal, 37, lead actress, limited series/movie, “The Honorable Woman”; Adrien Brody, 42, lead actor, limited series/movie, “Houdini” (about Harry Houdini); Mayim Bialik, 39, supporting actress, comedy, “Big Bang Theory”; Pamela Adlon, 49, guest actress, comedy, “Louie”; Mel Brooks, 89, guest actor, comedy, “The Comedians.”
Outstanding series (writers/creators/producers): Steven Levitan, 53, “Modern Family,” Jill Soloway, 49, “Transparent” (comedy); Jon Stewart, 52, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Ben Karlin, 44, and Stewart, “The Colbert Report” (comedy, variety or talk show); Jeremy Konner, 35, “Drunk History,” Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer,” Carrie Brownstein, 44, “Portlandia,” Lorne Michaels, 70, “Saturday Night Live” (sketch comedy); Howard Gordon, 54, “Homeland,” David Benioff, 44, and D.B. Weiss, 44, “Game of Thrones,” Matthew Weiner, 50, “Mad Men,” Jenji Kohan, 46, “Orange Is the New Black” (drama series).
Soloway, Benioff, Weiss and Weiner, among other tribe members, are nominated for writing Emmys. Schumer is also up for a directing award. Louis C.K. (“Louie”), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”) and Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline”), all of whom have a Jewish grandfather, are nominated for acting. Gaby Hoffman (“Transparent”) and Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”), though not Jewish, are nominated for playing Jewish characters.
New face on ‘SNL’
“Saturday Night Live” has announced its one new cast member for the 2015-16 season, which starts Oct. 3: Jon Rudnitsky, 25. Rudnitsky’s mother’s brother is Michael Oren, 60, the former Israeli ambassador to the United States and a member of Knesset. Rudnitsky’s stand-up routines feature a lot of millennial humor and social media references, which easily could be converted into “SNL” skits, and his original digital shorts are very much in the show’s mode. One is a pretty funny movie parody, available on YouTube, called “The Jewish Hunger Games: Kvetching Fire.” In other words, Yom Kippur meets “The Hunger Games.”
Rudnitsky got some heat earlier this month after reports that he’d tweeted some unfunny, nasty jokes about women and gay people. It’s one thing being offensive and funny, but being offensive and not funny is a major comedic sin that Jon should atone for this Yom Kippur.
A Jewish athlete from the Bay Area is set to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Zack Test, 25, a graduate of Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School in Foster City and Woodside High School, will play for the United States on the rugby sevens team. Rugby has not been in the Games since 1924. But the Olympic Committee decided to include the seven-players-per-side version of the sport for the next two Olympics. Test played for the U.S. rugby union team at the 2009 Maccabiah Games in Israel, and his outstanding play helped his team win the bronze medal.
UCLA freshman quarterback Josh Rosen, 18, played so well in the season’s first game on Sept. 5 that he’s already being touted for the Heisman Trophy, and nicknames like “Chosen Rosen” and “J-Chosen” are popping up. Rosen, a Southern Cal native, was an outstanding high school quarterback who was named the 2014 male Jewish athlete of the year by the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame — and, yes, “the chosen one” had a bar mitzvah.
Columnist Nate Bloom, an Oaklander, can be reached at email@example.com.