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Born Jewish too? You've gotta love it

April 20, 2006|Susan Carpenter

Circumcision may not rank high in the comedy canon, but for the off-color New York City musical duo What I Like About Jew, the topic gets a lot of play in a shtick that has them skewering all things iconically Jewish -- from JDate to Passover to rhinoplasty.

As part of the duo's first Exodus Tour of the West Coast supporting its debut album, "Unorthodox," self-described "secular Jews" Sean Altman and Rob Tannenbaum won't kvetch so much as irreverently celebrate their Jewishness over two nights of shows at Tangier in Los Feliz, beginning tonight.

Singing the praises of "Hot Jewish Chicks" or recounting bar mitzvah traditions as they do in "Today I Am a Man," the duo seems to be striking a chord. After What I Like About Jew appeared on the NPR interview program "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross last week, sales of "Unorthodox" shot past the latest from Carrie Underwood and Black Eyed Peas and into the top 40 on Amazon.com.

"We reference almost every Jewish stereotype in our music, and the way we think of it is, by referencing them in a comedic way, we are defusing them," Altman said of the "dirty little comedy duo" he founded with Tannenbaum in 1998. "Some people who listen very casually or don't get it, they might think that we are self-hating, and it's just the opposite. It's bursting with pride."

*

-- Susan Carpenter

What I Like About Jew, Tangier, 2138 Hillhurst Ave., L.A. 7:30 tonight, 8 and 10 p.m. Friday. $15.

(323) 666-8666, www.virtuous.com

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