HeadScratcher No. 70: Happy Chanukah!

144041__sophie_l So, what do Paula Abdul, Lauren Bacall, Scarlett Johansson, Sophie Okonedo, and Gene Simmons have in common? It helps if you knew that Friday at sundown, about the time we posted the question, marked the beginning of Chanukah. "For once I know the answer!!! They all celebrate Chanukah!! They are all Jewish!! They could all be in Adam Sandler’s 4th version of the ‘Chanukah Song!!!’ Cool!" enthused reader Arlene Lassin.

Mazel Tov, Arlene, you’re right! In fact, as Tim Priester wrote, "I think that they are about the only five Jewish entertainers that Adam Sandler hasn’t plugged into his ‘Chanukah Song.’" Could be, Tim. No doubt Sandler will get on that very soon.

Some of you thought all of them were just half-Jewish. Actually, to my knowledge, Idol judge Abdul, screen legend Bacall, and KISS singer Simmons all have two Jewish parents. It Girl Johansson and Hotel Rwanda star Okonedo (pictured) have Jewish mothers, "which means that according to Jewish law, they are all technically Jewish," observes PopWatcher Amir Weiss.

Most entertaining wrong answer came from Brooklyn’s James Avatar, who wrote, "They can all touch the tip of their nose with their tongue." Don’t know if that’s true, but I’d like to see that. Meanwhile, a plate of latkes to all those who guessed right — they’re listed after the jump.

addCredit(“Sophie Okonedo: Jon Furniss/WireImage.com”)

Jeremy Beaulne
Terri Cedro
Obert Chu
Douglas Cunningham
Tianne Haines
Mandy Hoge
Shannon C. Jones
Arlene Lassin
Tim Priester
Harold Reynolds
Mike Schriver
Dave Simanoff
Wendy Swiggett
Howard Stone
Heather Thomas
Nelle Travieso
Marla Trilling
Amir Weiss
Patrick A. Yearout

Thanks for playing, everyone! Come back Friday afternoon for another HeadScratcher…

Comments (20 total) Add your comment
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  • Fatima

    Sophie is so pretty! I want to see her in every movie ever made from now on.

  • Brian

    For what it’s worth, Paula Abdul is mentioned in Adam Sandler’s third Chanukah Song, right between Beck and Joey Ramone.

  • furry_tom

    To be fair, the Chanukah Song Part 3 was on the soundtrack to Eight Crazy Nights, so no one’s ever heard it.

  • tisi

    Does anyone here read Stephanie Klein’s blog? According to her- she claims that it does not matter which parent is jewish but every single jewish person i know, and wikipedia– all say that jewish mothers are what is important. (Ms. Klein only has a Jewish father)
    I don’t understand why this needs to be posted. Hanukkah is not one of the high holidays. For Christians, Easter and Christmas are the two high holidays, and for Jews it is Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashannah. Enough. If Hanukkah has to be posted about, then please do boast about some other non-important Christian holiday- like the Ascension, Assumption, Annunciation, or All Soul’s! It’s enough that the entire movie business has to be run by Jews but EW keep yourself level-headed about this please.
    Lauren Bacall is jewish? yikes

  • furry_tom

    Wow, is tisi an acronym for “That Is So Idiotic”? Why twist a trivia question into a tirade? Do you really think that Christians don’t get equal representation in entertainment? I’ll tell you what, I’ll list twenty Christmas songs for every one Chanukah song, and five Christmas movies for every one Chanukah movie. Deal?

  • AL

    What about Zach Braff, Maggie and Jake G. etc etc. Lots more for Sandler’s next song.
    For the record, no one can be HALF Jewish, according to Jewish law, which varies by denomination.
    And thanks Tisi for reminding me how many Jew haters there are out there…..

  • RobinG

    Tisi, you ignorant, bigoted whore. You know what bothers me? My comment will probably be deleted, but your hateful comments won’t be.

  • Hanna

    Maybe I’m off here, but I think James Avatar’s seemingly innocent answer that Gary mentioned is actually an anti-semitic comment on the size of Jewish noses? Pretty disgusting.

  • Cathie

    Funny…I thought the comment was probably inspired by Gene Simmons and the fact that he’s infamous for his longer than average tongue from his KISS days.

  • Berger

    What happened to last week’s headscratcher?

  • furry_tom

    You’d have to go through the archives to get to it, or you could just follow this link:


  • Howard

    Hey Tisi, the dry cleaners called. Your white sheet and hood are clean.

  • Roon

    Harold Reynolds? The former baseball player/ESPN analyst?

  • Howard

    Tisi is right about one thing: Chanukah is not very important as far as religious holidays go (On a 1 to 10, it’s about a 5 or 6). But culturally it has increased in importance due to its proximity to Christmas, because parents didn’t want their children seeing Christian kids getting lotsa presents when they weren’t getting any, thereby causing bad feelings about the religion (maybe this happened to Tisi).
    Tisi: I don’t know who Stephanie Klein is, but she’s either VERY Reform, or just WRONG. The reason it’s determined by the mother is that in olden times, when the father was responsible for supporting the family, the mother was in charge when it came to raising the children (There’s also the whole “carrying for nine months” thing – it led to the belief that a child’s soul comes from his/her mother). But just when you’re starting what could have been a legitimate question on religion, you have to drag out the old “JEWS CONTROL THE MEDIA” chestnut. Wow, that’s Bigotry 101. What’s next, blacks can’t swim? I guess Terry Semel, who used to run Warner Brothers (and now runs Yahoo and is Lebanese) and Richard Parsons (CEO of Time Warner – he’s black) were just never told. Ahmet Ertegun (Turkish) probably didn’t get the memo either.
    And yes, Lauren Bacall is Jewish. Hope that doesn’t screw up your appreciation of too many film noirs. You’re probably not gonna like “Borat” either, since Sacha Baron Cohen is very observant (despite the character), and now that Isla Fisher converted for him, I guess buying you “Wedding Crashers” wouldn’t be a good idea. If there are any other actors you’re considering wearing your swastika for the next time you go to the movies, respond here and I’ll send you a list.

  • kv

    There was no headscratcher last week.

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