Episode 13 – Passover Minisode
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The Guest: The Angel of Death (outside the door, presumably).
The usual theme music gets taken over by “Hava Nagila” for this special and unusually topical occasion. Mack, raised Catholic, wants to know what Matt, who’s Jewish, knows about the story of Passover off the top of his head. It’s the Jewish version of Inglourious Basterds, basically, says Matt. They’re not totally sure if Moses is involved or not at first, but once they remember the line “Let my people go!” it clicks. Also, apparently the Pharaoh told Moses to suck his dick.
Matt explains why Jewish holidays suck except for Hanukkah, because they’re all about things that sucked, or things you can’t do, and rarely involve gifts. He explains the Seder dinner, and why parsley makes (some) people sad because it’s bitter and signifies suffering. (I like parsley!)
How is Passover like Santa Claus for Jews? It’s all to do with leaving booze for the guy who’s coming to save you. The guys get into the Abrahamic religions, and how in Judaism, by the time you’re ready for the Messiah, you don’t actually need one.
Matt reveals he’s Ukrainian, and a Jewish atheist, saying that as long his mother’s vagina is Jewish, he is Jewish even if he doesn’t believe the religious tenets: guides to life that people just took super-seriously.
What’s the one fun thing about Passover? It involves matzoh, and money. You get rewarded for being Jewish, and there’s no Hell.
Matt closes by revealing the theme of his Bar Mitzvah, and teases the future Sukkot episode that will involve a tent and lemons. Also, Harry Dean Stanton deserves a minisode, because he’s Harry Dean Stanton. Right!
Inglourious Basterds, directed by Quentin Tarantino, is an Oscar-winning film that rewrites World War II in such a way that a mostly Jewish team of Americans get to kill Hitler. Also, Hitler wears a supervillain cape and one of the Nazis is named “Butz.” This, of course, is why it won an Oscar. (Not really. It was Christoph Waltz)
“Let my people go” is pretty much Moses’ catchphrase. Most people remember it because of Charlton Heston.
This is Harry Dean Stanton. You’ve seen him in lots of stuff, but pop culture remembers his signature line in Red Dawn maybe most of all (it got him that Avengers cameo years later, if you ask, me):
1:33-4:37 Matt tells the biblical story of Passover, including that time G-d dropped an f-bomb.
4:40-7:26 Why Jewish holidays suck, and the specifics of the Seder. As best as Matt can remember, at least. Is there lamb? Maybe.
11:38 How Chicken Soup for the Soul could become Scripture.
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Featured image: Dreamworks