Correction to This Article
A Dec. 10 Sunday Source article gave an incorrect start time for ¿Good for the Jews¿ at Jammin¿ Java in Vienna on Dec. 18. The show starts at 7 p.m. and is sold out. A second show has been added for 9:30 p.m.

A Little Holiday Something for Jews and 'Psycho-Semitics' Alike

By Dan Zak
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 10, 2006

You've seen Rob Tannenbaum at the gym. While you do the elliptical machine, he's the guy on VH1 doing the appraising on the "40 Hottest Rock Star Girlfriends."

Yes, he is one of the wisecracking talking heads on the cable channel. He's also the music editor at Blender magazine in New York, a former columnist at GQ and co-author of John Leguizamo's Broadway show "Sexaholix."

But this time of year he is one thing above all else: a Jew.

. Tannenbaum brings his humorous cabaret act "Good for the Jews" from New York to Jammin' Java in Vienna on Dec. 18 as part of a Chanukah/Hanukkah Holiday Tour ($15, 8 p.m., With Rosenbergs frontman David Fagin, Tannenbaum sings original ditties about Jewish culture.

Sample song: "Shiksas Are for Practice."

Somewhere, Debbie Friedman is blushing.

Interesting last name. Isn't it German for "Christmas tree"?

Actually, it's German for "fir tree." But it is strange; 11 months of the year I have to spell my last name for people, and then all month long in December, people want to sing "O Tannenbaum" to me. And then they say, "Hey, anyone ever done that before?" And I say, "No, actually you're the first one."

Do you ever tour away from the East Coast?

We'll be going to the Midwest. Wherever there are Jews, we can go. Probably a tour of Arkansas isn't going to happen real soon. I'm not in a hurry to get to Wyoming, for instance.

Hanukkah is the busiest time of year for you, I bet.

Yes. Jews really need a reason to celebrate in December. One of the first songs I wrote in this theme was "It's Good to Be a Jew at Christmas." And it was a little bit of a pep talk because at the time I didn't really feel it was good to be a Jew at Christmas. There's always a lot of news this time of year about the supposed "war on Christmas." It's not possible to have a war on Christmas because Christmas is the essence of America. In order to compete with Christmas, we've made Hanukkah into a bigger deal than it was historically. In December, when Jews are being assaulted by the dominant culture of Christmas, it's fun to get two or three hundred Jews together in a room and celebrate Hanukkah and laugh at ourselves.

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