There’s nothing like a game of WWILF. You’ve done it, I assure you. You go onto Youtube to look up something obscure, like a 90’s music video, maybe something with a weird lyric like “No more roses for your gun, no hippy chick”, and then, somehow, you end up watching a documentary on prison camps in North Korea or a Brit’s review of American junk food. Yes, that has a name. WWILF. What Was I Looking For?
Well, one day, while WWILF’ing, I came across Jewbellish, a pet project channel of Lubavitch comedian Mendy Pellin. The first video I watched was a spoof of Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty”, presented with the premise that “Jason Derulo took a sweet Yiddish melody for his recent hit. Jewbellish took it back.”
It was silly and elicited a giggle, no doubt. And I laughed, too, at his take on the stories of the binding of Yitzchak and of Moshe Rabbeinu. Overall, I liked what videos I saw, and I subscribed to the channel.
There is an element to Pellin’s Jewbellish videos, though, that up until now I did my best to ignore because frankly, it didn’t feel like a battle worth choosing amidst all the others I currently have in my personal life. The video that he posted this past Monday crossed the line, though, and enough is enough.
Pellin has two sidekicks in his “news report” videos whose presences I’ve always found unnerving. First, there is Jennifer Gentile, with her southern accent, “I don’t dare behave like an intelligent woman, that is not my role in society” personality, and perfectly styled blond hair.
She makes a notable appearance in the video, “Israel-Gaza Social Media Ceasefire?”. I wish I could find something funny about her. The episode was funny. The message was timely and good. But this character is so sexist and paints what I find to be such a not at all funny image of people from the South that I want to puke. Not to mention–hate to break it to you, Mendy–but we do have Jews in the southern states.
Check with the shluchim to be sure, but I heard the Chabads in Atlanta and Florida are doing exceptionally well, not to mention the Jewish community overall, movement notwithstanding, below the Mason-Dixon line. Ever heard of Miami??
We also have lots of blond Jews worldwide. You joke about Jewbellish’s studio being in the basement of 770. Walk upstairs from the basement sometime! The rabbis at both of the Chabads where I live have kids with light blond hair. And no, they did not marry gerim.
Oh. And Scarlet Johannson. Duh.
Don’t even get me started on treating women like they’re stupid or forcing them to stifle their intelligence. It’s 2014. Get out from under that rock.
So, no, the obnoxious stylings of Jennifer Gentile didn’t seem like enough of a battle worth choosing…But along came Big Dave. That’s when the gloves came off.
This week, Pellin posted a new video on Jewbellish entitled, “What’s The Meaning Of Life?”.
Forget the meaning of life, because I found out more than I needed to about the other main character in the “news report” videos, our Big Dave: an African American guy who also shows up in a few other videos aside from the “news report” sketches, as Mendy’s sidekick, lackey, what have you.
In this video, Mendy and Big Dave answer questions and address other comments left below previous videos and on other social media. (Jennifer just makes “stupid girl” comments and asks the questions dutifully because that’s her role, dontchaknow.) One of the questions was directed at Big Dave directly, asking if he is Jewish.
I really am not sure if that question should even have been entertained by Pellin and company, but it was.
What happened next, though, was the big “oh HELL no” moment when I rapidly hit “unsubscribe” from the Jewbellish channel.
So, just how did Big Dave respond? He laughed nervously nonstop, postured one hand up to Pellin as if to say “I don’t know where they got THAT idea from, man” and said:
“Alright, alright, look, I get it all the time. Look at me, okay? Alright, a lifetime with this guy [Pellin], six years in a matzah factory… Um, I don’t think I’m related to no Ethiopian Jews, so um… Of course I’m not! No, I’m not Jewish.”
Pellin mumbled something unintelligible to him, and Big Dave made a gun-shooting motion to his own head.There was plenty of nervous laughter, eye rolling, and other derisive, embarrassed body language between Big Dave and Pellin left over to carry to the next dozen times that Jennifer Gentile so much as speaks.
To rub some more salt into the wound, when asked if twerking is kosher, Pellin said no, but Big Dave said yes.
At the same exact moment.
Oh dear, why am I not laughing? Why am I bracing myself for something even more offensive just to round it all out?
Yeah, time for me to WWILF my way to something else. I’m going to start with Soho’s “Hippy Chick”.
Because, frankly, Pellin, Big Dave, and Jennifer Gentile, it really is hard to tell you how I feel without hurting you.
Gavriela hails originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but now resides in Forest Hills, New York. She has a Masters degree in clinical social work from Temple University and is a dedicated volunteer in the animal rescue community. Gavriela is a major science geek and finds that her love of science strengthens her belief in G-d and vice versa, contrary to what others might expect.
Header image by Pixabay.