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In Linda Richman's Footsteps: 'Ronna and Beverly'

As much as I love the whole Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Ben Stiller, Judd Aptaow schlemiel genre I always shudder a bit when finding out, again and again, that their co-star is a semi-serious perky blond. (For the most recent example, see the new movie “She’s Out of My League”, where the real-life half Jew Jay Baruchel pursues yet another, fair-haired and -eyed interest.) Why can’t the woman ever be funny — and not just spunky? Occasionally, a brunette? And, just once, Jewish?

This regular disappointment explains the joy I felt recently when discovering the hilarious comedy act “Ronna and Beverly”, described by many as a Jewish “Absolutely Fabulous” and played by actresses Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo. Ronna and Beverly are two Jewish divorcees who play the authors of the book “You’ll Do a Little Better Next Time: A Guide to Marriage and Remarriage for Jewish Singles” — and they’re the best things to happen to Jewish female characters since Mike Myers did Linda Richman on SNL.

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Elissa Strauss is a contributing writer at The Sisterhood, which crossposts weekly with Jewesses with Attitude.

For a taste of Ronna and Beverly, enjoy this clip!

Topics: Comedy
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For future reference: Actors of fully Jewish background: -Logan Lerman, Natalie Portman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mila Kunis, Bar Refaeli, James Wolk, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Julian Morris, Adam Brody, Esti Ginzburg, Kat Dennings, Gabriel Macht, Erin Heatherton, Odeya Rush, Anton Yelchin, Paul Rudd, Scott Mechlowicz, Lisa Kudrow, Lizzy Caplan, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Gal Gadot, Debra Messing, Robert Kazinsky, Melanie Laurent, Shiri Appleby, Justin Bartha, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Margarita Levieva, Elizabeth Berkley, Halston Sage, Seth Gabel, Skylar Astin, Mia Kirshner, Alden Ehrenreich, Eric Balfour, Jason Isaacs, Jon Bernthal.

Andrew Garfield is Jewish, too (though I donÌ¢‰â‰ã¢t know if both of his parents are).

Actors with Jewish mothers and non-Jewish fathers -Jake Gyllenhaal, Dave Franco, James Franco, Scarlett Johansson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Radcliffe, Alison Brie, Eva Green, Joaquin Phoenix, River Phoenix, Emmy Rossum, Rashida Jones, Jennifer Connelly, Nora Arnezeder, Goldie Hawn, Ginnifer Goodwin, Amanda Peet, Eric Dane, Jeremy Jordan, Joel Kinnaman, Ben Barnes, Patricia Arquette, Kyra Sedgwick, Dave Annable.

Actors with Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers, who themselves were either raised as Jews and/or identify as Jews: -Ezra Miller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Alexa Davalos, Nat Wolff, Nicola Peltz, James Maslow, Josh Bowman, Winona Ryder, Michael Douglas, Ben Foster, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nikki Reed, Zac Efron, Jonathan Keltz, Paul Newman.

Oh, and Ansel ElgortÌ¢‰â‰ã¢s father is Jewish, though I donÌ¢‰â‰ã¢t know how Ansel was raised.

Actors with one Jewish-born parent and one parent who converted to Judaism -Dianna Agron, Sara Paxton (whose father converted, not her mother), Alicia Silverstone, Jamie-Lynn Sigler.

Jay Baruchel is only 1/4 Jewish. For future reference: Actors of fully Jewish background: -Logan Lerman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mila Kunis, Natalie Portman, Bar Refaeli, James Wolk, Julian Morris, Esti Ginzburg, Kat Dennings, Erin Heatherton, Odeya Rush, Anton Yelchin, Paul Rudd, Scott Mechlowicz, Andrew Garfield, Lizzy Caplan, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Gal Gadot, Robert Kazinsky, Melanie Laurent, Marla Sokoloff, Shiri Appleby, Justin Bartha, Adam Brody, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Gabriel Macht.

Actors with Jewish mothers and non-Jewish fathers -Jake Gyllenhaal, James Franco, Scarlett Johansson, Daniel Radcliffe, Alison Brie, Eva Green, Emmy Rossum, Jennifer Connelly, Eric Dane, Jeremy Jordan.

Actors with Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers, who themselves were either raised as Jews and/or identify as Jews: -Ezra Miller, Alexa Davalos, Nat Wolff, James Maslow, Josh Bowman, Ben Foster, Nikki Reed.

Actors with one Jewish-born parent and one parent who converted to Judaism -Dianna Agron, Sara Paxton (whose father converted, not her mother), Alicia Silverstone, Jamie-Lynn Sigler.

Actually, it's real life QUARTER Jew Jay Baruchel, which makes him exactly as Jewish as Chris Pine, for example, though not nearly as good looking. Are we going to be complaining when Chris Pine is cast opposite a so-called "Blonde Shiksa"? Something tells me you're not (but I will for you, if you like).

To expand the scope, it seems "we"'re not complaining when full-blooded Jews like Logan Lerman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, or Paul Rudd are cast opposite non-Jewish actresses, so obviously the actors' backgrounds are completely irrelevant to the reason why these writers bring up the shiksa bullcrap over and over again.

How to cite this page

Strauss, Elissa. "In Linda Richman's Footsteps: 'Ronna and Beverly' ." 19 March 2010. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on August 21, 2019) <https://jwa.org/blog/ronna-and-beverly>.

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