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April 24, 2014 5:36 pm

‘Late Night’ Host Seth Meyers Specifies His ‘Jew-ish’ Credentials

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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Seth Meyers. Photo: Twitter.

Late night talk show host Seth Meyers explained to his studio audience on Wednesday that although he is not actually a Jew, he is frequently mistaken for one, and that his in-laws consider him to be “Jewish enough.”

The revaluations about his Jewishness (or lack thereof) were prompted by a gift Montreal Expos yarmulka he received from sports writer Jonah Keri, who was a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Wednesday.

The former Saturday Night Live cast member, who said his paternal grandfather was Jewish, is married to a Jew, Alexia Ashe. Meyers said when he first met his in-laws, “they thought I was Jewish as well and they were very excited about that. So when I had to tell them that I wasn’t Jewish they were very disappointed.”

“Over the course of five years I won them over… And I realized that they just came to the conclusion that I was Jewish enough,” Meyers joked. “And I realize [Judaism is] the only religion where that sort of happens and it makes sense that it’s the only religion that ends with ‘ish’… I feel like now when her friends ask my mother-in-law, ‘Is Seth Jewish?’ she’s like, ‘He’s Jew-ish.'”

Meyers and Ashe were married in a Jewish ceremony in the summer of 2013 that included a chuppah and yarmulka clad guests, he said. Meyers said he “loves the idea of being Jewish” and added, “I’m proudly Jew-ish.”

Confusion over his religion sometimes leads to some awkward interactions, he admitted.

“It’s weird because when Jewish people think I’m Jewish, they’re very excited about it and I don’t wanna say ‘Oh no, I’m not Jewish’ because then you sound like somebody trying to get into a 1950’s country club. Its just not an attractive thing to say,” he jokingly said.

“A lot of people, not everybody, thinks I’m Jewish, but every single Jewish person thinks that I’m Jewish. And they come to that conclusion because of my face, and my name and everything about me. You can’t blame them for that.”

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  • Shelley Handler

    Anyone who cites getting into a 1950’s country club in a discussion of Jewishness is more than “Jewish enough” for me!

  • bigpete

    About 100,000 Jews fought on the German side in the war; 12,000 of them were killed in action. Many were decorated for their valor on the front
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/features/.premium-1.602868

  • joe smith

    There are many people (including scientists) who believe Jews share certain DNA characteristics which would make them a race of their own. If that turns out to be correct, then being “Jewish” would be more than just about religion.

  • JHChrist

    Yeah, parasites like, what his face…oh, yeah, Jesus.

  • This really bothers me here. It’s as if he is not proud of his Jewish ancestry. His ancestry may come from his father’s side of the family, and according to “JEW OR NOT JEW” that makes him at least “barely a Jew”. – I’m so proud of my Jewish ancestry from my mother’s side of the family. That might make me “barely a Jew” as well, mixed with my father’s Irish ancestry, but I’m so proud to identify as a Jew. We come from a rich history. We should always embrace it with great pride!

    • Vita Wolerson

      Hi Paul I just wanted to make sure that you know that you are as Jewish as any Jew on the planet. Anyone born to a Jewish mother is Jewish.

    • Michael

      Why so proud of this parasitic existence?

      • David

        We’re proud because we get to control the fate of non-Jewish losers like you. We control the world, deal with it you Christian idiot

        • Salli

          FTW!

        • KcK

          You control nothing more than a camera lens. I’m not even a Christion but all your laws are, and most of your leaders.

  • Irv Borkon

    I don’t know why Seth is making such a big deal about people thinking that he is
    Jewish and that is wife is Jewish. I am wondering what his father is if his paternal
    grandfather is Jewish.

  • Mathis

    So what religion is he?

  • Joel

    I have three key questions:
    1. Is he circumcised?
    2. Does he eat kasha varnishkes?
    3. Does he know how to kvetch?

    If he answers “Yes” to those three questions, he’s close enough in my book. 🙂

    • Marie

      Not all circumcised men are Jewish, but EVERY men should (be circumcised)

      • J

        Marie, don’t be so ignorant and go educate yourself on circumcision.

        • Schmeckle Joe

          Jay? Or is it J? Do not worry, you are ignorant enough for everyone. No one wants to see your worm anyway.

      • Janna Kennedy

        Don’t be such an ignorant person, someone should take a scalpel to you without anesthesia and see how you feel. Circumcision is barbaric. Even if the child has no memory of it, they feel the pain and it affects them forever. Why cut off what’s naturally there… too lazy to learn how to clean it properly? Grow up.

  • Carlos Murphy

    Welcome to the tribe……

  • Irving D. Cohen

    WHO CARES WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE JEWISH ? WHY IS IT IMPORTANT whether people think you are Jewish or Jew-ish ? What kind of rub-bish is all this ?

    • Mr. Cohen asks “Why is it important?”

      Well, the question is sullied by its first word because it turns a question into a veiled statement. Remove that one word, and it magically turns into serious and useful inquiry.

      SO… Is it important?

      I don’t think a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is a proper answer.

      Speaking only for myself, I confess that I’m delighted when I learn that a person of accomplishment is a Jew. But the converse is NOT true. Finding out that the uber-talented Seth Meyers isn’t Jewish was not a blow to me.

      But the question implied by Irving’s post (“Why does it even MATTER?”) is thought provoking.

      I’m only ‘spitballing’ here, but I suspect it is an echo from an era in which Jews were desperate to fit in, or at least desperate to be reminded that they could fit in.

    • leila

      Many people who no longer think they are Jewish should perhaps ponder on Hitler’s doctrine which went back 3 generations. This meant that many Germans (and later, others) who had forgotten any Jewish ancestry were sent to the gas chambers regardless of what they considered themselves to be.

      • Salli

        But we need to be careful not to let people like Hitler define us. Although there are disagreements among Jewish groups as to “who is a Jew?” at least in that case, the question is debated within the family, as it were. Letting haters decide for us empowers them, and that’s wrong.

        My father, whose mother was Jewish but father was not, was not raised Jewish and never accepted that identity. If my father had suffered, God forbid, under someone like Hitler, he still would not have accepted the identity — even though rabbis and most Jews would have agreed with Hitler in his case. Being forced into a group with which he didn’t identify wouldn’t have changed his mind. Likewise, antisemites’ definitions have no place in how we view ourselves and each other.

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