If you have ever gotten taco shells from the grocery store, and ground beef from the grocery store, and shredded cheese from the grocery store, and Ortega sauce from the grocery store, you might be a fan of “White People Taco Night.” And, if you’re a fan of “White People Taco Night,” you just might be a fan of Lewberger.
If you don’t know Lewberger from the aforementioned TikTok-viral song, you probably know them from their cameos on the Try Guys’ YouTube show “Eat the Menu.” The three-piece comedy band, featuring Keith Habersberger, Alex Lewis and Hughie Stone Fish, has been everywhere from Buzzfeed (where they got their start) to Broadway (where they just completed a run of their Off-Broadway show “Lewberger and the Wizard of Friendship”). While Habersberger isn’t Jewish, Lewis and Stone Fish are. Together, the interfaith trio is continuing the longstanding tradition of American Jewish humor.
Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing Lewberger perform live at their show in Washington, D.C. Their performance, full of call and response, elicited loud cheers when they asked if there were any Jews in the audience, and it only got more Jewish from there. Sprinkled between “Pokémon Pickup Lines” and “The Vagina Song” were songs poking fun at the experience of growing up Jewish. In “Why Can’t Santa (Give Presents to the Little Jewish Children),” Lewberger laments that Jewish kids aren’t visited by Santa during Christmas time, singing that Santa could “spin the dreidel with Bubbe and Zayde, then pick us up and dance the hora.” In their live performance of this song, Keith dresses up as Santa visiting a sleeping Alex on Christmas night. Santa, for his part, wants to bring presents to the little Jewish children, whipping off his Santa hat to reveal a “Santa yarmulke” and ending the song by declaring, “Happy birthday to the world’s most famous Jewish baby!”
As an audience member at their show, the Jewish pride was palpable. Hughie poked fun at a Jewish audience member who made a joke that was perceived to be ableist because “it’s hard enough being Jewish without other ‘isms’ giving us a bad look.” (He walked it back one song later, saying that it was unfair to blame all of antisemitism on one guy.) During the set, Alex and Hughie also jokingly “othered” Keith for not being Jewish like them (“We’re called goys, we have a name,” Keith interjected). To top it all off, at the end of the show, I got to meet the band. After telling them that I had previously written an article that mentions their Jewish representation in “Eat the Menu” videos, they asked me if I was Jewish. When I said I was, Hughie gave me a fist bump.
But Alex and Hughie’s unfettered pride in their Judaism isn’t just limited to the show I saw. Hughie wears a Star of David necklace visibly during most Lewberger shows and in videos they post to TikTok and YouTube. He also emulates the value of tikkun olam through the management of his nonprofit, The Arts Project Syracuse, which funds arts programs in his hometown in upstate New York. Meanwhile, Alex proudly describes his cultural Jewish upbringing in videos, highlighting the diversity of Jewish life and normalizing celebrating Jewish heritage regardless of how religious a person may be.
Between singing about Jewish life and representing everyday Judaism, seeing Lewberger perform live felt like a celebration of American Jewish life at its funniest and, arguably, most timely. At a time of rising antisemitism in the United States, Lewberger follows in the footsteps of Jewish comedians before them, coping with trauma through humor. But this group is doing more than coping. In mixing comedy and music — integral aspects of Jewish life — they both create Jewish joy and fight antisemitism.
As a long-time fan of Lewberger (I practically grew up on their song “Disney Princess”), seeing them live healed my inner child. And as an adult listener (and fan!), Lewberger has shown me how comedy can normalize Jewish life for audiences who aren’t necessarily Jewish themselves. Because the majority of their music is not specifically about Judaism, Lewberger shows their audience that being Jewish in the United States is more than a religion — it is a diverse culture and identity that makes its way into all parts of a person’s life.
To quote a non-Lewberger song: Dayenu.