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The Schmooze

Seth And Lauren Rogen Paint A Menorah And Talk About Anti-Semitism On Local TV

In many cases, a rabbi and a rebbetzin (rabbi’s wife) both do full-time rabbinic work, though only the rabbi enjoys acclaim and a salary. Meet their Hollywood corollaries: Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen.

In a fun but utterly bizarre segment on local Los Angeles news network KTLA, the Rogens promoted their charity work, painted a menorah, and answered some very personal questions about their sex lives.

Let’s take a look at an exact transcript of the opening exchange between Miller Rogen, Rogen, and KTLA 5 entertainment anchor Sam Rubin:

HOST: Seth Rogen’s still basking in the glow of his latest box office hit ‘Good Boys,’ but it’s not all about the Benjamins! He and wife Lauren are here for a great cause called ‘Hilarity For Charity.’

HOST: (Turning to Miller-Rogen) Let’s go over hubby’s career.

SETH ROGEN: Hahahahaha (sarcastically) Finally!

HOST: Between —

SETH ROGEN: Her favorite activity!

HOST: Um —

SETH ROGEN: (To wife, sarcastically) You sit there and we’ll talk about me.

HOST: (Shouting to be heard) Between ‘Longshot,’ ‘Lion King,’ and ‘Good Boys’ —

LAUREN MILLER ROGEN: I’ve heard of those, yes.

HOST: Rank the three! What do you like?

Set aside the anachronistic reference to the infamous controversy in which Representative Ilhan Omar used the phrase “all about the Benjamins” to refer to Congress’ dealings with AIPAC. Imagine being a working actress and director, going on television to promote your charity, and being asked to rank your husband’s successes. And don’t get us started on the true hidden gem in the Rogen family — Seth’s mom Sandy Rogen.

Seth Rogen, who is quietly running a small movie empire in addition to his acting roles, is much more famous than his wife. But Lauren Miller Rogen, a Jewish actress who only last year directed the Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer movie “Like Father,” shouldn’t have her accomplishments overlooked just because she married the world’s most driven pothead.

And as Miller Rogen demonstrated in the interview — she, too, belongs in the spotlight. Here she is, quietly stealing the interview:

HOST: Asking for a friend — when [Seth] comes home from work and says ‘I just spent the day kissing Charlize Theron’ —

MILLER ROGEN: I say please tell me everything — What was it like to kiss Charlize Theron? How do I get to kiss Charlize Theron?

In fact, Miller Rogen is the mind behind Hilarity For Charity, a non-profit that has raised major amounts for Alzheimer’s research and care through comedy shows. On September 14, the group will hold a carnival fundraiser in Los Angeles that will be open to the public — in Rogen’s words, “an adult carnival where you can drink alcohol and eat food and then play games operated by your favorite comedians,” including Nick Kroll, Adam Devine, Ilana Glazer, Jeff Ross and more.

“My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when she was 55 years old, so we spent the first while of course being very scared and sad and devastated,” Miller Rogen explained. “And then we realized — ‘Oh wait, we have a voice that we can use.” Since then, Hilarity For Charity has raised over $12 million for Alzheimer’s research and awareness, and to serve needy Alzheimer’s patients.

Directing the couple’s shared charity work back to Rogen, who testified about Alzheimer’s research before the Senate in 2014, Rubin noted, “We have followed Seth’s Instagram all about his love for pottery.”

“Yes! Oh, we’re so into it,” Miller Rogen said, politely.

“Both of you?” asked Rubin.

“She’s the one who got me into it,” Rogen said. “She did it for years and years.”

Moving on quickly from the erasure of Lauren Miller Rogen as anything other than an aesthetic addition to her husband, Rubin unveiled a clay menorah from “Color Me Mine” a paint-your-own pottery studio franchise, and invited the couple to start painting.

“If you weren’t Jewish this would be wildly anti-Semitic,” Rogen said accurately, adding, “Did a non-Jewish P.A. come up with this?”

“It’s technically a Hanukkiah,” Rogen added, confidently. (In fact, it’s okay to call it Hanukkiah or Menorah. Menorah just means lamp; 9-branch Menorah’s, used on Hanukkah, are called Hanukkiahs. The Schmooze loves explaining this distinction!)

Let’s take one more look at the oddity that is this interview:

ROGEN: We named our kiln Brad Pitt —

ROGEN MILLER: — because it gets real hot!

HOST: There’s this sort of delightful open quality to the two of you. Do you guys have that — what’s that pass thing people do?

(Assorted uncomfortable laughter)

ROGEN: …We do not have an open relationship, if that’s what you’re asking.

So, there you have it! You can and should enjoy both Rogens in their many projects, learn more about Alzheimer’s research, and remember that female spouses, especially, are tired of staying polite as their life work is ignored.

Jenny Singer is the deputy life/features editor for the Forward. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny

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