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It’s funny, I think it’s in Deconstructing Harry that his on-screen brother-in-law accuses him of being a self-loathing Jew. Woody says, ‘Sure, I hate myself, but it’s not because I’m Jewish.’ I think the Jewish thing plays a key role in some of his earlier works – his depiction of rabbis as these little emperors, or something (‘You’ve never seen a Jew? Here, I have some sketches. Not all of them have these horns; the Russian ones have stripes,’ – Love and Death). I think he’s probably pretty dubious of the whole thing. There are plenty of really famous Jewish comedians, but you usually don’t think of Catholics, say, as being that funny. The Church generally doesn’t have a sense of humour – look at what happened to Sinéad O’Connor. Although I think she had the last laugh, didn’t she become a priest? There’s a lot of examples of, you know, the over-bearing, overwrought Jewish mother – the incredible guilt complexes and strange dynamic between the son and the mother in the household. I don’t particularly regret missing out on the wonderful opportunity of having had a Jewish childhood; my mom is pretty adept at laying on the guilt, so I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything.



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