With Hanukkah less than a month away, Jake Owen is getting into the holiday spirit. . . despite a complete lack of Jewish heritage.
During a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Owen appeared in a skit spoofing the outdated Time Life infomercials that once clogged the airwaves, hawking music compilations like Midnight Soul, Sounds of the Seventies and the 10-disc behemoth Best of Soft Rock. Dressed in a purple sweater emblazoned with a menorah, Owen — who introduces himself by his de-anglicized name of “Jay Cohen” — fills the mock commercial with lost holiday classics like “Let’s Do Jewish Stuff,” “Lighting the Pointy Candle Thingy” and “Reuben the Red-Nosed Rabbi.” The clip is appropriately sappy and totally irreverent, with Owen performing snippets of several songs with a toothy enthusiasm.
“You know, many, many Jewish singers, musicians [and songwriters] have released Christmas albums: Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Kenny G,” late-night host Kimmel says at the beginning of the clip, by way of introduction. “But never before has a non-Jewish entertainer released an album of Hanukkah songs, until tonight.”
Sadly, A Jay Cohen Chanukah doesn’t actually exist, although Owen is expected to release his Days of Gold follow-up sometime next year.