Thursday, July 10, 2014 Tammuz 12, 5774

We Wish You a Murray …

December 22, 2005 By:
Posted In 
Comment0
Enlarge Image »
They're just "Silly": Peter Gordon (left) and Michael Lange
What makes Christmas Carol kosher? Is it the fact that she doesn't mix milk and meat in her mince pies while putting up the tree?

"Exactly," says Peter Gordon with a laugh.

Wrong answer; right expert opinion. Gordon should know - as should colleague Michael Lange, both of whom make up the silliest music possible.

But that's their bizarre - and box-office bonanza - of a business. Gordon and Lange are the serious brains behind Silly Music, whose latest paragon of parodies is "Kosher Christmas Carols."

And noel to you, too, merry gentlemen.

The two entertainment machers make for some very funny sing-a-wrongs: Who hasn't grabbed a cup of hot chocolate, bundled up in front of the fire and sung … "I Wish You a Jerry Weisman"?

Certainly not Mrs. Weisman.

That's "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" in another mother tongue, say the producers/collaborators.

And if the partridge in a prachas tree is wearing a yarmulke? And if five Goldmans await you on the fifth of "Eight Nights of Chanukah"?

What better time to come out with such a CD than a year when Christmas and Chanukah arrive together? Star-crossed? Far from it, avow the producers.

Is it true that the calendar cooperated just so Gordon and Lange could come out with their third CD (previous parody hits were "Say Oy Vey" and "Goys and Dolls"?)

"We like to pretend that's the reason," says Gordon.

Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, they made it out of … Douglas Fir? It all started in a topsy-turvy way that spun off a hit, when a merchant who had sold their other CDs asked "what was in the pipeline," muses Lange.

Smokin'! "I said, well, we're going to have this CD of Christmas carols. Just like that, I committed to it."

Tevye would understand, as would any Jewish charitable group: They made each other a pledge. "And it happened when I was right in the middle of working on an 'O.C.,' " says Lange.

It's a match! After all, Lange, a longtime director of many popular TV shows, has shown an affinity for giving Fox's "The O.C." the Christmukkah direction it's taken in recent years, in which a family of mixed religions and mixed blessings celebrates both holidays together. Think of it as a double-take on two holidays never to be confused as the Doublemint Twins.

So, what would Gordon and Lange reel in while going gefilte/shrimp fishing? A treif of shellfish and Sheldon Silverstein-type lyrics?

Reelin' it in!
Just hear their new New Year thoughts on "Old Sam Stein" ("Old Lang Syne") for a sign of their humor. Father time as a zayda?

"We collaborate on lyrics by instant-messaging," says Lange.

Imagine … He snickers: "We're just like Lennon and McCartney."

Hey … Jew? "We have so much fun working on these albums," says Gordon of the humor coursing through their veins going back to their college days.

After all, what's not to laugh at - especially when it's given the hechsher by a rabbi?

Meet Rebbe Michael - he may not be a rabbi in real life, but he played one last week on TV. Sure, his role as a rabbi on "The O.C" ("Christmukkah/Bar Mitzvahkkah") was over before you could say "Shema Israel."

"You might have to be my mother to have noticed me," quips Lange of his little screen time.

What's not small-time is the big business these parody CDs have become. Indeed, there's talk of a sequel to "Kosher Christmas Carols" - and they're already working out a Santa clause in contract talks about taking the CD to the stage as a musical.

But what about those who mistle the point, and take offense at this punch bowl of punchlines made up of Chanukah and Christmas chazerei?

Maybe some may consider it improper to make fun of such a sacrosanct time of year?

Without missing a beat, the McCartney of McParodies chimes in: "I certainly hope so!"

 

Comments on this Article

Sign up for our Newsletter

Advertisement