Every generation of Jewish Young Adults has a male comedic hero that they can be proud of. The male comedic hero is crucial to the JYA community because they are inspiring in his ability to be both openly Jewish while at not overly Jewish to the point where he alienates the larger Non-Jewish population. The male comedic hero is also not excessively crass or vulgar in a way that may anger Jewish Adults, and therefore has widespread appeal. In a way, the comedic male hero is the public face of JYAs everywhere, and is crucial to maintaining a Jewish presence in mainstream media.
During the 80’s the comedic male hero was undoubtedly Billy Crystal, who quashed any potential rivals for the title with his role in When Harry Met Sally. In the 90’s the title was shared equally between straight-man Jerry Seinfeld and his more rambunctious contemporary Adam Sandler. The jury has still not decided on a rightful heir to the throne for this decade, but one potential candidate, who also happens to be another Saturday Night Live alum, has been making steady strides for the gold: Andy Samberg
Andy made his initial mark with the California based comedy trio The Lonely Island, which propelled him to SNL as a regular performer. He has starred in movies and television shows, but his real claim to the title of made comedic hero is from the overnight success of his faux music video “Dick in a Box”, which was very recently followed up with the even more virally successful “Jizz in My Pants” video (both starring the steamy but not Jewish Justin Timberlake).
Female JYAs love Andy’s cute and quirky side, as well as his boyish charm. Male JYA’s love that Andy gets paid to sing about premature ejaculation and penile packaging. Jewish Adults love Andy because they don’t completely understand his lowbrow humor and therefore maintain that he is a Nice Jewish Boy ready to settle down with various potential daughters from coast to coast.
If Andy continues on his path he could very well be the Billy Crystal of today’s JYA generation, but he could also be usurped by another frontrunner to the crown: Seth Rogen.