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Return Of The Moranis

Welcome back Rick Moranis.

Rick-Moranis-My-Mothers-Brisket-and-Other-Love-SongsRick Moranis might not be the first actor you’d think would venture into the world of jokey music. In fact, it’s likely you would not think of him at all, seeing how he retired from acting in the ’90s. But on Tuesday, the star of classics such as “Spaceballs,” “Parenthood” and “Little Shop Of Horrors” released “My Mother’s Brisket & Other Love Songs,” a collection of tunes in which he seriously owns his Jewish heritage.

In addition to the title song, a ballad about his favorite Shabbos dish, other tracks have names like “Pu-Pu-Pu,” “Live Blogging the Himmel Family Bris” and “Belated Haftorah.”

“In the past if I were to have come up with stuff like this, this filter would have been on it,” Moranis told The New York Times, referring back to his days writing for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. “We would come up with something, and one of us would say, ‘No, no, no, it’s too Jewish. Can’t do it; it’s too Jewish. This time, because I was essentially going to make this record on my own, I could just say, ‘The hell with it.’ ”

This might seem like an odd career choice, but not so much when you consider his last project. In 2005, Moranis, who quit acting to spend more time with his family after his wife’s death, came out with “The Agoraphobic Cowboy,” a humorous country album that was nominated for a Grammy.

Here, Moranis talks more about the endeavor. Excerpt:

Q. Give us a little about the origin of this project.

A. The writing of these songs came out of the fact that so much of my life had moved from being very involved with show business, which in the Jewish aspect is very secular, back into family and friends and community and much more of a practicing Jewish culture. Many of my friends and family were more involved with the faith, with their temple, with the practice of rituals, so day to day it was back in the orbit I was in, which it hadn’t been for a long time. As I was thinking of things, these ideas for these songs were coming up, and I started writing them.

In the past if I were to have come up with stuff like this, this filter would have been on it. And it goes back for me to when I first started out writing variety shows and awards shows at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. We would come up with something, and one of us would say: “No, no, no, it’s too Jewish. Can’t do it; it’s too Jewish.” This time, because I was essentially going to make this record on my own, I could just say, “The hell with it.”

And I think the last variable is — and I said this to my mother and she got a great laugh out of it — I said, “Mom, there’s a big revenge component in here, and this is no good to me after you’re dead. I’ve got to get this out there while you’re still alive.”

Update: A reminder of some of his best work:

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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