Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion, the duo behind ‘YidLife Crisis,’ have sent us a funny Yiddish valentine. It’s the latest episode of the comedic web series, and it’s about the kind of date you definitely don’t want to have on February 14.
“Big Bang Theory” actress and attachment parenting guru Mayim Bialik guest stars in the episode as Chaya, a high-powered, no-nonsense neurosurgeon apparently set up by her mother on a blind date with Leizer, the slightly nebbishy character played by Batalion.
The two meet at a kosher sushi restaurant in Los Angeles, which is far from the series’ usual setting of Montreal. Chaya comes to the blind date with a long list of questions to ask Leizer. It’s her way of cutting to the chase and not wasting any of her precious time.
“As our mothers may have discussed, I’m interested in leading a traditional Jewish life. I’m seeking candidates. I know exactly what I want. I have all the question right off the bat, so a blind date is just a more efficient way of seeing if this is even possible,” Bialik’s character states.
Her first question, however, is not one she had come prepared with.
“What’s he doing here?” she asks, glancing to Leizer’s right.
When Leizer decides he no longer needs his wingman, he whips out his phone and pretends his mother is calling him. His fake Yiddish conversation with his mom is actually his telling Chaimie to get lost. Chaimie suddenly also has a “call” from his mother and informs Leizer in Yiddish that he is having too much fun to leave.
Not amused, Chaya takes out her phone and fakes a conversation with her mother… in Yiddish!
With their “secret” language no longer secret, the men buckle down and answer the neurosurgeon’s barrage of questions — which she of course asks in Yiddish.
Hilarity ensues as Bialik’s character shoots off query after query. The earnest Leizer and the irreverent Chaimie stay true to character as they answer each one, no matter how absurd or irrelevant to a first date.
Actually, Chaya makes it clear at the end that this wasn’t even a first date. It was a “pre-screening,” and it will be continued the next day. Only after that will she decide if one of these fellow Yiddish speakers deserves a real date with her.
It’s abundantly clear that Batalion and Elman tailored the script for this episode specifically to Bialik, with whom they had long wanted to collaborate after learning she knew some Yiddish.
Bialik’s character’s statement that she’s interested in leading a traditional Jewish life echoes what the actress has told the media about her religious observance and modest fashion choices despite her working in Hollywood.
Questioning Chaimie and Leizer about how they feel about breastfeeding and vaccinations is an obvious nod to the strong public reaction to Bialik
In addition, questioning Chaimie and Leizer about how they feel about breastfeeding and vaccinations is an obvious nod to the strong public reaction to Bialik breastfeeding her son Fred until he was four, and to statements she has made indicating that she may be an anti-vaxxer.
Oh, and you know how Chaya is a neurosurgeon? Well, Bialik has a PhD in neuroscience.
Blind date from hell aside, the creators of ‘YidLife Crisis’ were thrilled that Bialik chose to publicly reveal her Yiddish-speaking abilities for the first time on their web series.
“Working with Mayim is a pleasure in every way. It is a koved [honor] for us to be in the presence of such a shining star who is nonetheless extremely grounded and intelligent. She just is plain and simple a highly talented comedic actor who was a major asset to our script,” Batalion told The Times of Israel.
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