In its current issue, Heeb magazine heads West to Hollywood for the first time ever and, from the looks of it, Tinseltown may never be the same. According to a press release sent out a few weeks before the mag hit the newsstands, the editors announced that they wanted to put the theory that Jews run Hollywood to the test, and insisted that this issue would be "packed with unexpected investigations into the glittery glamour and gritty behind-the-scenes of the movies business."
For example, one article looks at what's become of Christian-themed films after "The Passion of the Christ," while another considers the glorious mirth that pervades the "Harold and Kumar" franchise, and then manages to find something Jewish in it all.
There's also a profile of Kristen Schall, the woman the editors call the heir to mad comic genius Andy Kaufman (she's featured in the irrepressibly inventive HBO show "Flight of the Conchords"). There's also a look back at older Jewish females -- Theda Bara, Molly Picon and Fanny Brice, an odd grouping if there ever was one. So much for grit and glamour.
On the magazine's Web site, there's lots more Hollywood-related material: Jimmy Fallon talks about what it's going to be like to take over for Conan O'Brien next year on "Late Night"; it also seems that Jon Lovitz was at an AIDS benefit recently and let loose with some Jeremiah Wright/AIDS/racist humor that few people at the gathering were happy about; and, in one of the funniest lead-ins in all this material, it was pointed out that "Hillary Clinton supporter and movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein, and Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, recently held a private phone conference, but don't hold your breath for the least erotic political sex scandal since George Washington gave a hooker splinters."
One of the major pieces in the magazine is an interview with Jason Segal, screenwriter and star of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." He's shown on the cover, doing his best James Bond imitation (and he manages it very well, looking particularly good in a tuxedo). The title of the article is "Sexy Beast," and the author is Emma Forrest.
"Jason Segal is delightful company," she writes, "and not simply because he's drinking cocktails in the early afternoon. He's funny, handsome, ever so faintly slurring. It's almost like lunching with a young Albert Finney. But not quite, because Segal hasn't any '60s macho arrogance ... . On a drizzly afternoon in L.A., [he] is wearing a flat flannel cap and a scarf that is so poorly tied it exposes great swathes of chest. At 6'4", he looks like a giant Oliver Twist who should have his face pressed against the other side of the glass at the Chateau Marmont, instead of happily dining inside. Segal's been this tall since he was 12."
According to a quote from Heeb publisher Joshua Newman, "This issue was one part inspiration, two parts perspiration, three parts free labor accrued during the Writer's Strike." Even if this was only meant as a wisecrack, it seems right on the money.