Is Weird Al Jewish? (He definitely knows a little Yiddish)

Weird Al reportedly consulted with several rabbis before releasing the song "Pretty Fly for a Rabbi"
"Pretty Fly (For a Rabbi) was released by Weird Al in 1999.

“Weird Al” Yankovic is not Jewish, but a very Jewish person (a.k.a Daniel Radcliffe) is playing him in the newly released biographical parody on his life.

Yankovic jokingly said the Harry Potter star was going to become even more famous for portraying him. “I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for,” he told reporters.

Weird Al is not Jewish and is Christian (he’s reportedly a member of the Hollywood Church of Christ). When asked in an interview if any of his band members were Jewish, he replied: “um, I don’t know, Jon ‘Bermuda’ Schwartz.” Schwartz has been the drummer in Weird Al’s band since the 1980s.

Pretty Fly for a Rabbi

In 1999 Weird Al released the single “Pretty Fly for a Rabbi,” a parody of “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” by The Offspring. Released only in Australia, the song starts with the Yiddish curse “Veren zol fun dir a blintsa” meaning “You should turn into a blintz.” (The full version of the curse actually is “vern zol fun dir a blintshik, un di kats zol dikh khapn” which means “may you turn into a blintz and be snatched by a cat.”) “Pretty Fly for a Rabbi,” peaked at number 68 on the Australian music charts.

Weird Al reportedly consulted with several rabbis before releasing the song, however he has since taken it out of rotation and no longer performs the song live due to the song relying on negative Jewish stereotypes.

“Pretty Fly for a Rabbi” actually includes several Yiddish words, including:

  • Oy vey!
  • Goyim: Non-Jews
  • Nudnik: An annoying or boring person
  • Schtick: Routine, a skill a person is good at
  • Vay iz mir: “Woe is me!”
  • Meshuge: Crazy or irrational
  • Schlemiel: A foolish or clumsy person
  • Macher: A doer, an important person
  • Tuchis: Your “behind”
  • Shul: Synagogue, temple
  • Schlep: To carry something
  • Chutzpah: Bravado, audacity, self-confidence
  • Kvell: To be delighted, happy
  • Yente: Matchmaker from “Fiddler on the Roof”
  • Oy gevalt: “Oh my God!”
  • Verklempt: Overwhelmed, frustrated
  • Plotz: To faint