Our secret obsession: Marlee Matlin's interpreter on 'Celebrity Apprentice'

Granted, I am pretty much obsessed with every aspect of the awesomely absurd Celebrity Apprentice, but one person in particular has stolen the show this season, and he’s not even a contestant or a Trump. It is Jack Jason, the aggressively animated and overenthusiastic interpreter for Oscar winner Marlee Matlin. Jason doesn’t just translate Matlin’s words — the sassy little scamp also goes to great lengths to convey her emotions and feelings behind those words as well. And I’m not the only one who can’t get enough. EW’s Annie Barrett shares my fascination with JJ, so there was only one thing left to do: Track the man down! And that’s exactly what we did. On the latest installment of The InsideTV Podcast, Annie and I grill the intrepid interpreter about his unique technique, and if you loved him before, you’ll love him even more after hearing the instant Celebrity Apprentice legend sound off on a variety of topics.

To hear for yourself, just click on the audio player icon below. Or, since we’re on iTunes, you can subscribe for free and take the podcast with you on the go. No iTunes? No problem. You can also download the entire podcast right here. And to send a question to the InsideTV Podcast team, follow us on Twitter @InsideTVPodcast. Okay, take it away, Jack!


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  • Juke Early

    Gee, that’s funny in my theater class we used to call that kind of thing upstaging.

    • Riley

      One thing that Kirsten Baldwin should keep in mind is that James Durbin also has asperger’s (not just turrets). One of the biggest things people with aspergers struggle with is following social norms and not knowing when certain behaviors are “too much”. I agree that his behavior can sometimes be a bit over the top, but I think it is important to keep in mind that he cannot exactly always help it. I like him and feel people probably misunderstand him.

    • Diggin’ Daniel Webster

      Dalton … perhaps this will help:

      preparfrigate \ pree-paar-fre-gate \ adv, 1: prior to the established value of a light boat propelled initially by oars and later by sails 2: in front of an accepted standard of a war vessel between a corvette and destroyer 3: Dionne Warwick’s feeble attempt to use a big word like ‘prevaricate’ while her (crack-addled?) brain was pulling for ‘fabricate’ in an attempt to satisfy her delusions of grandeur … and intelligence, while disguising her guilt.

      Poor Dionne. Do You Know The Way To Say Hosed, Eh?

  • Me

    Well, that’s dumb. Have an audio interview with an interpreter for the Deaf. Don’t you think us deafies would like to know what’s being said, too? Hmmm.

    • Allie

      XD thats a good point. FAIL

      • Bunnyman

        Is this serious? I am not deaf and can tell you what to do with your $4.95! Post the transcript!

      • Buffy Freak

        Come on Bunnyman…you don’t really think that is a real post do you? It’s someone being sarcastic….

    • delilahrose71

      Exactly what I thought. Major fail!

      And no one can think there’s really some kind of “EW Transcript Dept.”

    • RJM

      Excellent point and such ironic oversight of the magazine.

    • Joe

      I agree. I would like to know what they said. I am deaf myself.

  • 4R

    These two were so awesome on The Larry Sanders Show.

  • Elizabeth

    This guy is definitely the hardest-working guy in show biz!! He not only has to keep up with all the crazies and sign what they’re saying to Matlin, he translates the rare comments she can get in edgewise whenever Star Jones is around. He did a great job at Donald Trump’s roast too… by the way Matlin is HILARIOUS.

    • Joe

      Yes. He must be exhausted from translating from ASL to English. It is lot of effort of translating and keep in peak shape in order to help Marlee keeps her edge.

  • SHV

    EW Transcript Department: you said if we want transcripts of the podcast, we need to pay $4.95. How come the hearing get to listen to it for free and we deafies have to pay for it? Talk about unfair!

    • Joe

      The deaf people have word for this. It is called audsim. Audism is a form of discrimination based on hearing ability. Therefore, EW is an audist because they charge for people like me who can’t hear which place me on an inequivalent scale.

  • efrain

    This is the same translator Marlee Matlin has had since she won The Golden Globe & Oscar!

  • memo

    Are you KIDDING? You can’t POST the transcript online in this case? (and I’m not deaf, just ticked off).

    • caryn

      just jokes, folks…

  • Quirky

    Is it just me or does the shirt collar of the guy standing behind Marlee in that picture makes it look like she has devil horns?

    • Cindy

      Nice hidden gem catch.

    • Helen K.

      I don’t see this.

  • Adam

    Calm down, I’m pretty sure “EW Transcript Department” isn’t really EW. They probably haven’t made a transcript at this point, but I’m sure they’ll consider your requests.

  • caryn

    From what I understand, an interpreter uses exaggerated facial expressions to express meaning like speakers use tone and volume.

    • Woot

      No that is what deaf people do. Since they generally don’t speak, they can’t convey meaning with the tone of their voice. So, they often show exaggerated facial expressions to get their point across.

      • Mama

        Characterizing Deaf people’s expressions as “exaggerated” is somewhat of an insult. The expressions the Deaf use are not that different in intensity from hearing people. But, yes, it is a way to add expression in conversation. Deaf people can also use their voices to be as loud or as quiet as they want to be, and it as well adds expression to the conversation! I agree with Me and Kitty- give the Deaf equal access to ALL things that are spoken audio especially on the internet! It’s only fair.

      • Joe

        Exaggerated is an interesting word to describe the facial expression. It just like how Asians people would draw the picture of western people with huge circular eye.

        However, the expression is part of American Sign Language structure. It is just like how you use adjective and tone in English language.

        Dr. William Stokoe did a seminal work on American Sign Language and prove it is a language not rudimentary.

    • DBM

      Actually you are correct Caryn, In this case that is the interpreter’s job – to translate words and emotions.

  • ASH

    Casey James almost got the boot, Dalton??? LOL! Try Casey *Abrams*!!

  • Flyer

    I really liked the interpreter Marlee used during the period when she was playing Joey Lucas on “The West Wing.” (Maybe I’m wrong, but from the photo, this doesn’t look like the same guy.)

    • Laura

      No, I don’t believe this gentleman is the loveable Kenny from “The West Wing” days.

  • Ray

    Hey, Dalton called him Casey James, not Casey Abrams??

    • Riley

      I was wondering that too…Wasn’t Casey James the blonde babe from last season?

  • 1twinsfan

    I’m watching Celeb Apprentice to just to see this guy give Warwick the finger when Marlee isn’t looking. Marlee is awesome as is Jason. Dionne should crawl or slither back under her rock.

  • kitty

    Um.funny how this is abt an interpreteR and what he does cuz I’m deaf. I can’t hear the audio. Wld be nice if u had a written transcript. Thanks.

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