Nathan Fielder’s Bar Mitzvah Photos Are Perfectly Awkward

The Jewish comedian's show "The Rehearsal" is a masterpiece, and these photos from the fifth episode are the cherry on top.

Warning: light spoilers for last week’s episode of “The Rehearsal.”

Jewish comedian Nathan Fielder’s latest TV show “The Rehearsal” is a masterpiece.

The initial premise of the unscripted-but-heavily-scripted docu-dramedy is that Fielder, a self-professed awkward guy, wants to help regular people remove uncertainty from their lives through staging intense “rehearsals” of parts of their lives. Though the groundwork of the show has shifted considerably over the course of the season, with this week’s final episode promising to be centered around Nathan himself, “The Rehearsal” has remained consistent in just how compelling it is. Every single episode of Nathan Fielder‘s show has provoked full-body responses in me, from laughter to gasping in discomfort and shock.

This week, however, Nathan added the perfect cherry on top: his own bar mitzvah photos.

And folks, they’re pretty perfect.

For context, in the beginning of episode five of “The Rehearsal,” Nathan has fully inserted himself into the rehearsal for a woman named Angela who wants to rehearse what it would be like to raise a child. At first, Angela, who is loudly an evangelical, is raising the child, Adam, as a Christian. However, as co-parent to Adam, Nathan explains that he is interested in sharing Judaism with Adam, since he is a Jew.

“I was raised Jewish, and I still do all the holidays and stuff,” Nathan says in voiceover as his bar mitzvah photos come up on screen.

While Nathan quickly moves on from the photos without addressing them, I simply cannot.


Nathan Fielder
Screenshot via HBO Max
Nathan Fielder
Screenshot via HBO Max

Look at his 13-year-old chubby cheeks and weird buzzcut! Look at the tallit that is absolutely wearing him in the first photo!! Look at the second photo in which there is the longest yad I have ever seen in my whole life!!!

13 is an inherently awkward, uncomfortable and cringey time in the life of a Jewish tween, and b’nai mitzvah photos perfectly memorialize those feelings. As I look at Nathan’s bar mitzvah photos from the ’90s, I can’t help but think of my own bat mitzvah photos from 2010, complete with my chubby cheeks and weird haircut.

With Nathan Fielder being the undoubted King of Cringe in pop culture right now, it makes so much sense that he would share these photos with us. I only hope that the final episode of “The Rehearsal” is also unbelievably Jewish and, that one day, Nathan will share his bar mitzvah party theme with us.

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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