Jewish Actor Brett Gelman Coined the Word ‘Jaddy’

For the "Stranger Things" star, being a sexy, Jewish, masculine man is the ultimate vibe.

Jews love to slap the letter “J” or the word “Jew” onto the front of a word to make that word Jewish. See: JDate, Jwitter, Jewdar… the list goes on.

The latest example of this phenomenon? “Jaddy,” or Jewish zaddy, purportedly coined by Jewish actor Brett Gelman, whom you may know as Murray Bauman in “Stranger Things,” Martin in “Fleabag” or as ex-husband and continued collaborator of Jewish filmmaker Janicza Bravo.

But for Gelman, “Jaddy” isn’t just a word. It’s also, for lack of a better phrase, the ultimate vibe.

“A Jaddy? It’s a Jewish zaddy! Elliott Gould’s a Jaddy, but so is Adam Sandler,” Brett said in a recent interview with W Magazine. “Especially like an Uncut Gems’ Adam Sandler. The Sandman is a major Jaddy. It’s like a sexy, Jewish, masculine man.”

He continued on a more serious note, “I think there’s a lot of versions of being sexy. And look, this is not a cause that I’m starting here. I’m a white, straight, cis, male, I’m not in a group that is suffering and oppressed. I do have thoughts on antisemitism, of course. I think antisemitism is very much the whispered bigotry, in terms of, for both men and women, how attractiveness can be perceived. I think that there is a lack of representation amongst Jewish men with a man’s face like mine. I don’t have a boyish model face. And I think that was something that was really present in the ’70s. I want to bring that back.”

According to the interview, Gelman’s worldview is also shaped by his Jewishness. More specifically, Jewish culture infuses his senses of humor and empathy.

Brett, we couldn’t agree more about bringing back the ’70s Jaddy style. So folks, let’s all get out our thick, handlebar mustaches and Blublocker sunglasses out — along with some dark jokes and our Jewish sense of justice. In honor of the OG Brett Gelman, it’s time to have a very Jaddy summer.

Evelyn Frick

Evelyn Frick (she/they) is a writer and associate editor at Hey Alma. She graduated from Vassar College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. In her spare time, she's a comedian and contributor for Reductress and The Onion.

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