On February 16, the acclaimed Heeb Storytelling series returns to Brooklyn. Writers, comedians and other clever people will share seven-minute Jewish stories at the Galapagos Art Space, and one lucky audience member will even get to perform. We caught up with three of the night’s readers to ask a bit about them and their plans for the big evening. Surprisingly, pornography, pubic hair and Jews for Jesus are all on the agenda, so buy your tickets now.
Jon Golbe’s an actor, Modern Warfare player and comedian whose work can be seen on Funny or Die. He may or may not have been a Playboy intern, but he certainly did appear on their "mobile reality series," Interns.
Ever give read an official “Jewish-themed” story in front of an audience before?
I’ve never told any official Jewish-themed stories anywhere, except at my Bar Mitzvah, where I talked about a Buddhist koan.
You were a Playboy intern, and even appeared on a reality show about the experience. What’s one lesson your internship taught you?
I wasn’t really an intern there, it was just arranged for the show, and as with many of my life experiences, I learned no lessons.
The trailer I saw showed somebody giving a back rub to Miss October 2008. That you?
It was. Cute story: She told me about how the Playmates would all play softball together on a team. I asked her if they played against the Penthouse Pets and she got really offended like I’d called her a slut or something.
Favorite Jew, living or dead, real or fiction?
How do you think Heeb Storytelling will compare to a Playboy event, sexy-wise?
Anna Jane Grossman‘s a freelance writer who specializes in lifestyle and arts & entertainment features. She’s also the author of Obsolete: An Encyclopedia of Once Common Things Passing Us By.
Ever read an official “Jewish-themed” story for an audience before?
I’ve read the four questions at Passover, but there’s not much of a plot. I guess I’ve never given any kind of official Jewish anything, but I’m pretty sure I could perform a bris in a pinch.
Can you give us a hint about your story?
It’s about how I got married and became a Jew for Jesus.
Whoa! That’s a touchy topic for a lot of Jews. Really?
I’m for Jesus but I’m not religious. It’s not ‘for’ like ‘in favor of,’ it’s more like ‘for’ as in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Jesus is my husband’s name.
You’ve written about reality TV school, getting a cheap $10 bikini wax, a deaf-blind woman and in defense of gold-digging. Favorite topic ever?
My favorite might’ve been one about beehive hairdos. It was pegged to Amy Winehouse. I called pretty much every famous person I could think of who had ever worn a beehive to see if they could offer up tips on constructing one—I figured no one would call me back, but what the hell. My editor called and killed it because Amy Winehouse cut off all her hair. Two minutes after hanging up the phone, Ivana Trump called.
Your book, Obsolete, lists porn magazines, letters and chest hair as stuff that’s exited the modern age. If you’re a Jewish guy who has or likes all of those things, does that mean you’re old?
No. I think it means that you’re alive. The book is about stuff in our lives that is fading—things that, not long from now, will be displayed in museums as artifacts of the time and place we live in now. So it’s not a matter of liking or not liking things, or even a matter of being old or young. Anyway, are there really Jews out there who don’t like some form of porn? What’s not to like?
Think you’ll stick to the seven-minute time limit? Our accordion player, DJ Kool Jew, is instructed to play over you if you don’t, you know.
DJ Kool Jew? Oy.
Ryan Britt a writer of fiction, personal essays, and plays whose work has been published with Nerve.com, Soon Quarterly and others.
Will this be your first “Jewish themed” reading?
Since several of my stories are about my Israeli girlfriend, I’d have to say no, this is not my first Jewish themed reading.
Who’s your favorite Jew, living or dead, real or fiction?
I guess I’m supposed to say my girlfriend, but really, it’s a toss-up between Leonard Nimoy and Woody Allen.
Your personal essays are pretty damn revealing. How personal will your story for us be?
I’ll be talking about pubic hair, so I’d say slightly personal.
Marry, Fuck, Kill: Obama, Clinton, Lincoln. President’s day is coming up, you know.
I would marry Obama (for the good health benefits, obviously) fuck Clinton (I hear he’s a good lay) and kill Lincoln (gotta preserve the space-time continuum!).
Think you can stick to the seven-minute time limit? You know the accordion player is instructed to play if you go over, right?
My girlfriend actually plays the harmonica in the house whenever I talk about Star Trek for more than six minutes, so, yeah, I think seven minutes will be fine.
Come see Jon Golbe, Anna Jane Grossman and Ryan Britt along with author Ruth Ellenson (The Modern Jewish Girl’s Guide to Guilt), screenwriter Robert Schwarz and host Michelle Collins (Best Week Ever) at the Heeb Storytelling event on February 16 at Galapagos in Brooklyn, NY.