The indomitable Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop with Mallory Lewis, Nat Segaloff and Sarah Breger

Famed ventriloquist and creator of the iconic puppet Lamb Chop, Shari Lewis was one of the few women to run her own television production company at a time when most women were shut out of the industry. Lewis and Lamb Chop entertained generations of children with their many television shows, including specials about Hanukkah and Passover. Mallory Lewis, Emmy Award-winning performer and daughter of Shari, and TV writer-producer Nat Segaloff, join Moment editor Sarah Breger for a conversation about Lewis’ stage and TV career, how Judaism influenced her work, the challenges of being a businesswoman in a male dominated field and how she and her puppet became iconic stars loved by millions. Mallory Lewis and Segaloff are the authors of the forthcoming book Shari Lewis & Lamb Chop: The Team That Changed Children’s Television.

This program is in celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month.

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Jewish Pioneers in Television: The Next Generation with TV Historians Walter J. Podrazik and Harry Castleman

TV became the preeminent communication force in society from the 1960s onward, with Jews at the creative and business forefront. Walter J. Podrazik and Harry Castleman continue their entertaining survey of the medium’s history with a focus on influential figures such as Fred Silverman, Brandon Tartikoff, Barry Diller and Sumner Redstone and the groundbreaking shows they brought to the screen such as Seinfeld, Happy Days, Charlie’s Angels, Hill Street Blues, The Cosby Show, The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory plus made-for-TV movies and miniseries such as Roots. Their achievements paved the way for the growth of cable, and eventually streaming.

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Mayim Bialik in Call Me Kat

Mayim Bialik Is Back—Though Was She Ever Really Gone?

It feels like Mayim Bialik is everywhere. She is talking about mental health on her new podcast “The Breakdown with Mayim Bialik”; she is hosting a seven-minute Passover seder and leading a Shavuot vegan blintz cooking demo on her YouTube channel that has over a million subscribers; she is giving parenting advice on or in one of her many books; she is on the omnipresent reruns of The Big Bang Theory, playing scientist Amy Farrah Fowler, and on her new FOX show Call Me Kat, where she plays the owner of a Louisville cat café; and, most recently, she has been a guest host of Jeopardy! Moment spoke with the actress-neuroscientist-author on being an observant Jew in Hollywood, the origins of Jewish humor and if rumors of a Blossom reboot are true.  Your new show, Call...

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Nice Jewish Bad Boys

The New Black: Nice Jewish Bad Boys

For some younger, hipper members of the hat-conscious, ultra-Orthodox crowd, the old black is also the new black. But in the Israeli-made streaming series The New Black, set in a prestigious Jerusalem yeshiva, the debate over fedora fashion is Borsalino vs. Barbisio, rather than over those huge, furry shtreimels. It’s easy to understand the exotic appeal of recent shows about the various Haredi sects, to Jews and non-Jews alike. Both audiences are likely to view them as our quaint version of the insular, anachronistic Amish—but with a sharper, more caustic sense of humor. I enjoyed the critical and critically praised Unorthodox, but I gave up on Shtisel after two episodes, finding the patriarchy insufferable. And I have purposely eschewed popular, Israeli-made espionage series. My previous viewing interest has focused on series aimed at general, secular audiences, with some...

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Sonny Fox

Sonny Fox: Kids’ TV Host’s Life Saved in a Nazi POW Camp

New Yorkers of a certain age remember Sonny Fox as the ruggedly handsome, dimple-chinned TV host of Wonderama and Just for Fun. Fox was a genuine, relatable adult who didn’t need outlandish costumes, buffoonery or pies-in-the-face to communicate with his kid viewership. Fox, who died January 24 of COVID at age 95, always dressed in a suit. He combined natural bonhomie with a sincere interest in his young audience. The mix of cartoons, games, magic tricks and guests (including New York’s Mayor John V. Lindsay and Senator Robert F. Kennedy) was must-watch TV for NY-area kids from 1959 to 1967. Fox was the role model for other such hosts in metropolitan areas nationwide. But underneath the good cheer was a memory of his service in the U.S. Army in World War II, witnessing perhaps the single greatest...

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Still from Bridgerton

Bridgerton: The Unexpected Mirror to Orthodox Dating Life

On the surface, Netflix’s Bridgerton does not seem like the type of show “nice Jewish boys and girls” should be watching. The series, based on Jewish author Julia Quinn’s romance novels, takes place in Regency London at the height of what is called the “season,” the time when young women are presented at the queen’s court, signaling their availability for marriage. It is full of steamy sex, unplanned pregnancies and an endless grapevine of gossip. And yet, strip away all the pomp parties and regalia, and the romantic drama actually serves as an apt mirror for the Orthodox Jewish dating scene, especially for women. At the center of the series is Daphne Bridgerton, a young debutante who spent her childhood dreaming of finding Prince Charming and starting a family. However, despite earning high praise from the...

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