The only Hanukkah album you need to listen to is Rachel Bloom’s Suck It, Christmas!!! released in 2013. We’re serious: it’s a masterpiece. Back in 2017, we ranked all the tracks, and recently, Rachel and her husband (and co-writer Dan Gregor) saw our rankings (GASP!) and shared their thoughts on Twitter:
For the record, "Let Me Be the Cantor At Your Temple" is Gregor's mother's favorite song on the album because she runs a temple in Forest Hills so that song is VERY niche.
— Rachel Bloom (@Racheldoesstuff) November 20, 2018
Around the same time, Rachel started an epic #AMA on her Twitter about the iconic Hanukkah album. She was joined by her husband (Dan Gregor a.k.a. Gregor). Here are some of the amazing things we learned from the brilliant Q&A:
Rachel’s favorite song to play live is “Foreskin Angels,” and her favorite song on the album is “Judaica” because it is a “primal piece” of herself.
Meanwhile, “Gregor’s mom loves ‘Let Me Be the Cantor…’ because she runs a temple, my dad loves ‘Chanukah Honey’ because it reminds him of girls he dated, Jack’s parents love everything and bought 100 copies from us.” (Not present during the Q&A but very much a part of the album is writer Jack Dolgen, a songwriter for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend who worked with Rachel and Gregor on the album.)
There was also debate between Rachel, Gregor, and Jack over the spelling of Hanukkah; Rachel says there was no debate, but according to Rachel, Gregor “says tons of debate and that he’s still angry about it apparently? Thanks for ruining my marriage with this question.”
There are really so many fun facts from this Q&A. Rachel has been pushing to get “Chanukah Honey” and “Judaica” on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (a show with many Jewish songs). In other Crazy Ex-Girlfriend trivia, we learned that Dan pitched a joke where Nathaniel called Rebecca a “semitic pixie dream girl” (OMG).
We learned there was no song about a “sad menorah in the mall,” but Dan Gregor has a beautiful vision for a Pixar movie about the film (we need this to happen!).
And, if they ever do a Purim album, Rachel says the hit song will be “Twerk it Like a Vashti.”
The most important thing to come out of this Q&A, however, is Dan and Rachel’s aborted attempt to film a music video for the track “Judaica.” Rachel wrote that they tried to make a music video for it in Israel, then “quickly abandoned the idea.”
Dan provides video evidence:
We got stopped by security at some point for filming pic.twitter.com/GFzMa4h3aW
— dan gregor (@gregorcorp) November 20, 2018
Rachel’s whispered lyrics, the “ahhhhhs” at the end, the giggles — everything about this is PERFECT.
In researching this article, we also discovered the music video for “Happy Epic Hanukkah” (which is unlisted on YouTube), where Danny Jolles (George on CXG) plays the shofar.
Excited to join this AMA! I did play the shofar for real in this song. But wait there’s more, I still own said shofar and can still play it to this very day.
I don’t know what thread didn’t reply but please let that thread know I am ready to shofar AT A SECONDS NOTICE!!!
— Danny Jolles (@DannyJolles) November 20, 2018
Punk-rock Hanukkah? Sure, why not! Please enjoy:
Rachel wrote she believes the Hanukkah album didn’t become a huge success because “People are stupid and only want palatable Chanukah songs that don’t challenge their conceptions of the holiday. Bahhh bahhh sheeple bahhhh bahhhh.” But she would make a second one because there were no mentions of “Maccabees” or “wax burns” on this one! (Please, please, please make a volume 2!)
This is all we’re listening to for the rest of time. Bye!