Emmy nominations aplenty
In a coup for celebs with a local connection, the husband-and-wife duo of Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Dahvi Waller both have shows vying for Emmys. “Bojack Horseman,” created by Bob-Waksberg, who grew up in Palo Alto, is nominated for outstanding animated program. Waller’s show “Mrs. America” is nominated for outstanding limited series — and is up for the winged statue in nine other categories as well.
Jewish talent is showing up across categories for the Emmy Awards, which will be held virtually on Sept. 20. Among the notable nominations: Shira Haas for “Unorthodox,” Tiffany Haddish for her comedy special “Black Mitzvah” and Tracee Ellis Ross for “Black-ish.” The now completed sitcom “Schitt’s Creek,” created by father-and-son team Eugene Levy and Dan Levy, racked up 15 nominations, while Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” picked up a few, as did “The Kominsky Method” with Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin.
‘Aladdin’ composer snags an EGOT
Alan Menken deserves a special Emmy mention. The composer has now joined the exclusive group of 16 EGOT winners, having scooped up an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award. He completed his four-bagger on July 26 when it was announced he won an Emmy for children’s programming (they are awarded earlier than the primetime Emmys) for his song “Waiting in the Wings,” which he wrote for the Disney Channel’s “Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventures.” Menken already has eight Oscars for “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin,” among others. Other Jewish EGOT club members are Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols and Richard Rodgers (who in 1962 became the club’s first member).
Rogen: I was fed lies about Israel
Seth Rogen is stirring the pot. In an interview with Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast, Rogen questioned what he’d been taught about Israel as a young person. “We’re gonna piss off a bunch of Jews,” Maron said, as the two discussed their doubts about the raison d’être for the state of Israel. Rogen said “that as a Jewish person I was fed a huge amount of lies about Israel my entire life.”
Portman getting her kicks
Natalie Portman is on the ball. The actress is one of a group of investors, mostly women, from the worlds of entertainment and women’s pro soccer who have secured the rights to set up a new professional women’s soccer team in Los Angeles. Currently called “Angel City,” the team will launch in 2022. “To celebrate women at the same level as the way we celebrate male athletes is culture-shifting,” Portman said.
A chuppah, a ketubah, the whole schmear
Actress Nicola Peltz, 25, and Brooklyn Beckham, 21, the celebrity son of former soccer star David Beckham and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, reportedly are planning to follow Jewish traditions at their two 2021 wedding ceremonies (one in the U.S. and one in the U.K.). They reportedly bonded over their heritage when they first met; David Beckham has been vocal about the importance of his Jewish heritage (he has one Jewish grandfather), and Peltz was raised in a Jewish home in Westchester County, New York, and has a tattoo in Yiddish on her torso.
Strange but apparently true
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine is having a strange couple of years. Not only was he caught up in a political investigation in the U.S. in 2019, but the TV actor–turned-politician just had to deal with a hostage crisis. After a phone conversation with Zelensky, the hostage-taker agreed to release the hostages (he had hijacked a bus) if Zelensky publicly praised a 2005 Joaquin Phoenix–narrated film exposing the cruelty behind the industrial use of animals. Zelensky complied in a terse message, saving the 13 hostages. The gunman was arrested.