Celebrity Jews

New on DVD

Season one of the Emmy-winning “Arrested Development” is now available on DVD, which includes Jeffrey Tambor’s commercial for his Jewish self-help tapes … The new Aladdin DVD, which has some fascinating commentary on it — including the fact that animator Eric Greenberg says Robin Williams’ improvisational Yiddishisms inspired him to make Aladdin’s genie Semitic, so the film might become a Jewish/Arab buddy pic. … “Garfield: The Movie,” starring Breckin Meyer. … 1963’s “The Nutty Professor,” starring a hilarious Jerry Lewis, finally arrives on DVD … and “Shrek 2,” written by Orthodox Jew David Weiss who says that the film has Judaic inspiration: “Actually, a main theme is based on something I heard from a rabbi. It’s a definition of love: What’s important to you is important to me. So through ‘Shrek,’ some Jewish wisdom is getting out to millions of Americans.”

Nerd nation

Judd Apatow, best known for bringing us “Freaks and Geeks,” will make his directorial debut with the film “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” for Universal Studios. Guess he’s not straying too much from the topic of geek culture.

Director’s cut

Director Brett Ratner (“Rush Hour”) has signed a seven-figure deal with 20th Century Fox to help develop a TV series. “Brett is just an unstoppable force of energy,” Fox TV president Dana Walden told The Hollywood Reporter. “He is such an entertaining and charismatic person that it’s easy to understand why so many people want to work with him.” Ratner is profiled in the October issue of Details magazine, where he tells his favorite joke. “What’s the difference between a rapper and a tacky Jew from Miami?” Ratner asks. “We both want the gold Rolex with the diamonds, the ridiculous Bentley, and I have all that.”

Everybody loves Brad

When “Everybody Loves Raymond” signs off at the end of this season, actor Brad Garrett, contrary to many fans’ wishes, will not be doing a spin-off show. Instead, he’ll probably be doing something with HBO. “It’s in the very early stages, so in four months you could see it on ‘Animal Planet’ as a puppet show,” Garrett joked.


“The Four Chaplains: Sacrifice at Sea,” a one-hour documentary, airs on the Hallmark Channel at 10 p.m Wednesday, Nov. 10. Through dramatic military film footage, re-creations, and personal interviews with survivors and family members, the doc recounts how a Catholic priest, a rabbi and two Protestant ministers removed their life jackets for others, and spent their last moments praying, arm-in-arm, as the USS Dorchester went down.

Columnist Benyamin Cohen is the editor of Jewsweek magazine (www.jewsweek.com).