arts & entertainment
A Standup Guy
Brad Wollack joins his Chelsea Lately compatriots in a
comedy tour coming to Royal Oak Music Theatre.
hat a difference a letter of the
alphabet can make.
In the case of comedian Brad
Wollack of the late-night TV show Chelsea
Lately, switching the "double-1" with an
"m" can be worth a laugh.
A lot of people hear his name and think
they're hearing "Brad Womack," who has
looked for romance on the primetime TV
show The Bachelor.
But "we don't have a lot in common:'
says Wollack, 33, married and the father of
3-month-old Spencer. "I have the person-
ality, but he has the look."
Local audiences will experience that
personality up close when Wollack appears
Saturday evening, Dec. 3, at the Royal
Oak Music Theatre in The Comedians of
Chelsea Lately. He will be joined by Sarah
Colonna, Jen Kirkman and Chris Franjola,
all roundtable regulars working with
the late-night TV comedian and author
Chelsea Handler on her show, which airs
11 p.m. Mondays-Fridays on E!
"We each do 25 minutes of comedy with
a mix of topics — marriage, alcohol, sex,
whatever:' he says. "We hope we're covering
a range of topics on people's minds.
"It's a good opportunity for fans of
Chelsea Lately to see their favorite round-
table regulars live. It's a fuller experience
because the audience gets a new perspec-
tive of us:"
The new perspective of Wollack is new
dad, a subject he brings into his act.
"This is my first kid, and he's at the
forefront of my mind:' the humorist says
in a conversation from his L.A. home
while holding his son. "I'll talk about
being a father. I want him to be a cool kid,
have friends and choose whatever career
Wollack describes his humor as obser-
vational, which means it can be political.
"I always try to bring in something
local;' says Wollack, who appeared in
Detroit earlier this year. "It makes people
know I appreciate where I am, and there's
a relatability factor when I can talk about
going into an area."
Judaism also enters his stage.
"The thing about Jewish humor
depends on where I am in the country:'
explains Wollack, whose earlier material
was more ethnic.
"If I'm in Texas, audiences are not gen-
erally hip to Jewish culture. In that area,
talking about Judaism would be more to
illustrate who I am.
"Chelsea and I connect through our
Jewish backgrounds. She had a bat mitz-
vah, and I had a bar mitzvah (Handler
is the daughter of a Jewish father and a
Mormon mother.) There are customs that
we knew growing up.
"I think there's something about the
Jewish faith that's so cultural that auto-
yalial I Nate Bloom
as Special to the Jewish News
All Grown Up
Remember Jonathan Lipnicki, the
incredibly cute little boy who co-
starred in Jerry McGuire (1996) and
the Stuart Little movies?
I knew that Lipnicki had been a
bar mitzvah and had recently started
acting again after a hiatus of about a
decade. But I had no idea that he had
grown up to be a hunk.
Last month, a set of publicity pho-
tos of Lipnicki, now
21, appeared that
showed him shirt-
less and working out.
A serious martial
arts student, he is
abs. He has one of
those bodies that
December 1 a 2011
are usually seen only in Calvin Klein
He also has one tattoo – a large
Star of David to the side of his stom-
ach. While he is no longer "cute," he
is unquestionably handsome (to see
pics, just google "Lipnicki shirtless").
I can imagine Lipnicki working out
shirtless at a Jewish community cen-
ter gym, walking over to a girl and
saying, "Shalom, want to go out with
I imagine her response might be:
"You didn't have to ask. You had me
The NBA lockout has seen some play-
ers scrambling for other paying jobs.
As you might have heard, New
Jersey Nets guard Jordan Farmar,
24, one of two active Jewish NBA
players, traveled to Israel in August
to play with the top Israeli team,
matically relates one Jew to
another. When I went back to
Brad Wollack: "The thing about Jewish humor
college several years ago to get a
depends on where I am in the country."
master's in business, I thought of
that as something a good Jewish
boy would do. My first Groupon coupon
clubs and on TV shows.
was for a Jewish deli; I eat a lot of corned
"Viewers will hear stories about events
in our lives and behind the scenes at
Wollack's early interests were not nec-
Chelsea Lately. We'll have lots of big
essarily comedic although he thought of
guest stars — Jennifer Aniston, Reese
himself as a class clown. His studies at the
Witherspoon, Jay Leno and Jane Fonda."
University of Southern California, where
Wollack likes writing as part of a team.
he majored in political science and jour-
Asked to submit a chapter for Handler's
nalism, placed him in work with student
last book, Lies That Chelsea Handler Told
Me, he hid himself away at his parents'
"From there, I got a job on the local
home to avoid distractions for a few days.
FOX sports affiliate," he recalls. "I found
"I'm a very social person and like to
an agent who told me I should do standup, interact with people he explains. "That
and that took off.
makes me more of a collaborative writer,
"When I started working with Chelsea,
and I think that gets far more ideas out
I figured I should do standup and tour the there."
country with visibility from the show. I got
With so much work time spent on
comfortable on stage, but it's been a long
humor, relaxation gets serious.
process. I like to juggle a lot of different
"I watch dramas on TV and in movies
when I get a chance says the husband of
Wollack, a full-time writer for Handler
an interior decorator. "I'm reading Dennis
who appears about once every two weeks
Lehane's Sacred; it's the third book in a
on Chelsea Lately, has taken on another
series." I I
television commitment. The show After
Lately, whose second season premiered
See The Comedians of Chelsea Lately
Nov. 27, airs 11 p.m. Sundays on E! and
8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Royal
repeats during the week.
Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth,
"It's a scripted comedy series about
Royal Oak. $37.50. (248) 399-2980;
the regulars on Chelsea's show:' explains
Wollack, who has appeared in numerous
Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Farmar was recently profiled by the
excellent Public Radio International
program The World.
The son of an African-American
father and a Jewish mother, Farmar,
who had a bar mitzvah, was raised
by his Israeli stepfather, a Tel Aviv
native. He has recently applied for
As The World profile began, Farmar
had been something of a disappoint-
ment to the notoriously demanding
Maccabi Tel Aviv fans, and he was
still getting used to
the somewhat differ-
ent style of play in
But the same fans
who were kvetch-
ing were singing
his praises when he
in a big home game
on Nov. 6 against Real Madrid, a
top Spanish team, and scored three
quick baskets. He had a brilliant
game overall, and his team won.
After the game, Farmar said with a
chuckle, "Gotta make some more free
throws. But other than that, it was
really a good performance all the way
The reporter from The World then
said: "Farmar's coach at Maccabi is
a fellow American, David Blatt. At
one point, Blatt vowed not to sign
any NBA players during the lockout,
fearing it would be too disruptive for
team building. But now that his start-
ing point guard is coming into his
own, Blatt is glowing."
To read or hear the report, with vid-
eos, log on to theworld.org and search
Contact Nate Bloom at