Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Culture

Gold, Silver and Rubber: Village Voice’s ‘Best of NYC’ Awards

“S’iz shver tzu zain a yid,” runs an old proverb: it’s hard to be a Jew; yes, but is it hip? Definitely has been, at times (see this blog for two notable testimonies), but, if you hold Village Voice’s “Best of NYC Awards” to be the barometer of coolness, in 2009 we’re coming in only slightly above the freezing point.

Prominently, though, two Russian Jews were singled out: Eugene Mirman as the Best Stand-Up Comedian, and David Stromberg, who got a shout-out as part of the Melville House’s much deserved Best Small Press award. Stromberg’s book of raucous and darkly humorous cartoons, the Baddies, hit the shelves this month; he’s worked with Zeek magazine, and is a writer/critic. Let’s admit it: Russian Jews have become the absurdist messiahs of the dull American golus. I kept my accent all these years, knowing this day will come.

Also, notably, Jon Singer’s Xylopholks received the “Best Buskers Dressed As Animals” laurel — you may have seen this hilarious rag-time band in oversized costumes on the subway or at random klezmer gatherings. Quality performers Michael Winograd and Benji Fox-Rosen who’ve appeared with Xylopholks, also play with half-dozen klezmer outfits.

There’s also a curious bit on David Rothenberg, a publicist, who turned John Herbert’s play about prison life and condition, “Fortune and Men’s Eyes,” into a Broadway hit, and consequently found the Fortune Society, non-for-profit provider of re-entry services for ex-cons. David Rothenberg was also the first openly gay candidate to run for City Council, back in 1973.

The most endearing award this year, however, is the one for “The Best Place To Get a Spanking,” that opens up with: “Have you been bad? Do you deserve a potch on the tuchus?…”

Amen! We know you’re out there.

Watch the Xylopholks video below. And Eugene Mirman below that!

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.