Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
The Schmooze

Watch Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson Sing Hanukkah Songs

Movie stars do all kinds of silly things to promote their films — including singing Hanukkah songs and discussing gefilte fish on MTV.

Scarlett Johansson and Matt Damon both proved good sports during interviews with the channel’s Josh Horowitz this week, gamely playing along during a segment entitled “After Hours Chanukah Special.”

They were visiting MTV to talk about “We Bought a Zoo,” the Cameron Crowe-directed movie opening today, but ended up getting their knowledge tested on a range of Jewish trivia, including proper usage of the word “chutzpah” — both did better than GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann — as well as their thoughts on Jewish foods. (Johansson defended gefilte fish, though she admitted it’s “an acquired taste.”)

Johansson, whose mother is Jewish, displayed a dose of Jewish guilt at the start of the quiz, nervously joking that her “grandfather’s rolling over in his grave.” But she and Damon acquitted themselves quite nicely during the singing portion of the session — with the non-Jewish Damon even singing a second Hanukkah song just for fun.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

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.