Celebrity Jews

Knocked Up, teen style

Director Judd Apatow (“The 40-Year-Old-Virgin” and “Knocked Up”) pursues his ambition to be the mogul of frat-boy humor with “Superbad,” a teen comedy he produced but didn’t direct (opens Friday, Aug. 17). While “Virgin” and “Knocked Up” balanced adult themes with outrageous humor, “Superbad” mostly goes for the bawdy, juvenile joke. Still, it seems clever enough to be a guilty pleasure.

Seth Rogen, who starred in “Knocked Up,” co-wrote “Superbad” and has a supporting role in the movie as a wacky cop. The film stars Jonah Hill, 23, who had a smallish role in “Knocked Up” as one of Rogen’s buddies.

Hill plays a very crude and quite geeky high school senior. His best friend (Michael Cera) is sweet and smart, but equally geeky. Some popular girls tell Hill and Cera that “favors” will be theirs if they procure alcohol for the girls’ party. Hill’s attempt to fulfill their request sets off a series of misadventures.

Trekking on

A new “Star Trek” movie, mostly about the early adventures of Dr. Spock and Captain Kirk, is now in production with a release date of December 2008. So far, director/writer J.J. Abrams has confirmed that Leonard Nimoy, 75, will appear in the film as the “old” Spock, and that William Shatner, 76, will likely appear as the “old” Kirk.

Trade papers are saying that Anton Yelchin (“Huff”) snared the role of Russian-born Star Fleet Officer Pavel Chekov. Yelchin’s Jewish parents, both top figure skaters, left the former Soviet Union for America in 1989. Ironically, actor Walter Koenig, 70, who created the role of Chekov, is the son of Jews who fled Russia in the early 20th century. (It’s unclear if Koenig will be in the upcoming movie.)

Yelchin, 18, has the title role in the teen comedy film “Charlie Bartlett,” which opens this November.

Braun powers up

Ryan Braun, 23, a rookie third baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers, has had an incredible start since being called up from the minors on May 25. He was National League “rookie of the month” in June and July. As of Aug. 8, he is batting .346 and has 21 homers.

Braun’s Jewish father was born in Israel and moved to the States when he was 7. He settled in Southern California and eventually wed Ryan’s mother, who isn’t Jewish. Ryan was not raised in any faith, but has told interviewers he is proud of his Jewish background.

Braun is also proud of his odd connection to slugger Hank Greenberg, one of the two Jewish players in the National Baseball Hall of Fame (the other is Sandy Koufax). For the last 40 years, Ryan’s maternal grandfather has lived in a Southern California house once owned by Greenberg. (The Brewers play a three-game series against the Giants in San Francisco starting Friday, Aug. 24.)

Take two tablets …

“The Ten,” a film directed and written by comedian David Wain, 38, is made-up of 10 modern stories loosely based on the Ten Commandments. It opened in a few Bay Area theaters Aug. 3, with more theaters being added on Aug. 10 and 17. Most critics thought that at least half the segments were quite funny. Wain has a small role in the movie and he managed to attract a marvelous cast, including Jewish actors Paul Rudd, Liev Schreiber, Winona Ryder, Adam Brody, Ron Silver and Michael Showalter.

Wain previously directed the indie comedy “Wet Hot American Summer,” and he is part of Stella, a comic trio that includes his buddies Michael Ian Black and Showalter.

Nate Bloom

Nate Bloom writes the "Celebrity Jews" column for J.