Katy Perry the Yiddishe papa
MC Yosef ShulemMC Yosef Shulem

Katy Perry the Yiddishe papa

Pop star includes Jewish character in 'World's Worst Birthday Party Entertainers' video

Renee Ghert-Zand is a reporter and feature writer for The Times of Israel.

It’s time yet again for another Katy Perry video of questionable taste.

In February, more than a few Muslims were offended by the pop singer’s “Dark Horse” music video, which featured her (dressed as Cleopatra) incinerating a character wearing an “Allah” pendant.

Now, with her imitation of a bar mitzvah MC in a promotional video for her new “Birthday” single, it’s the Jews’ turn to complain… maybe.

Before we get all upset about her portrayal of the curly-haired, yarmulke-wearing and none-too-appealing “Yosef Shulem,” we should put it all in to context. First of all, this bar mitzvah MC (suspiciously resembling a grown up, washed-up version of SNL’s Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy) who tells offensive rabbi jokes, is really no worse than any of the other characters Perry presents as the “World’s Worst Birthday Party Entertainers.” (At least he doesn’t have the large, exposed pendulous breasts — “golden nuggets” — of Goldie, the over-the-hill Las Vegas dancer.)

Then again, one might think that Perry would be a wee bit more careful about possibly hurtful Jewish stereotypes after her father, Rev. Keith Hudson, made anti-Semitic remarks (for which he apologized) in a sermon back in 2012.

There’s really no need to get worked up about the edgy promo clip, which is meant to draw attention to Perry’s official “Birthday” video, whose seemingly sweet, innocent visuals provide a cover for lyrics with a subversive sexy bite.

Perry may like to provoke, but she also has a big heart. As Toronto Jewish girl Olivia Wise was dying of brain cancer last November, the celeb sent Wise a caring video message after a video of her singing Perry’s “Roar” went viral.

As far as the stereotypical bar mitzvah DJ character goes, the joke may actually be on Perry herself. Far from being a dead-end career, entertaining at b’nai mitzvah parties can actually be the first stop on the road to stardom. Just ask Hollywood actor Paul Rudd.

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