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Happy Birthday, Ben Stiller!

ben_stiller_rabbi

Happy birthday, Ben Stiller!

The actor and comedian turns 49 today, and I’m using the occasion as an excuse to post this amazing clip from Keeping the Faith (2000), in which he demonstrates his Jewy bona fides as the Hip Young Rabbi who hires a gospel choir to invigorate his stodgy congregants. (Quick refresher, for those who didn’t waste their precious adolescence memorizing B-grade film plots: Stiller plays a rabbi unwittingly caught in a romantic rivalry with his childhood friend, a priest played by Edward Norton. The object of their affection? The very gentile, very verboten Jenna Elfman.)

As far as rom-coms go, it’s no Annie Hall, but I’d give it a solid… B minus, I guess? I mean, the plot is absurd—the entire film pivots on the notion that religious leaders will actually feel guilty about succumbing to sexual temptation, which, LOL—but it’s fun, kind of? Jenna Elfman in her prime!

Now also seems like an apt moment to remind you all that when Ben Stiller’s band performed “Hey Jude” at his bar mitzvah, Jerry Stiller got upset and rushed the stage because he thought they were singing “Hey Jew.” Halevai.

Until 120, Ben!

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