Jackie Hoffman is an Obie-award-winning actress from Queens. You’ve seen her on Broadway in Hairspray and Off-Broadway in numerous plays and one-woman shows, on the big screen in Kissing Jessica Stein and other movies, and on TV in the acclaimed shows Curb Your Enthusiasm and Strangers With Candy. This year’s installment of her annual holiday kvetchfest, Jackie Hoffman and Kristine Zbornik: Together Again for the First Time, runs through December at Joe’s Pub.
1. Why do you hate Christmas? Well, let’s see . . . It’s a holiday that honors a historical figure who caused gallons of Jewish blood to be spilled over the centuries. It gets people all riled up. And don’t forget they usually had those pogroms in Russia around this time of year . . .
2. How do you deal with all this rancor about Christmas in your performances? We address it very directly and in a very funny way, I hope. And in a musical way at the end, where Kristine literally cuts me off—it’s the Jews versus the Christians. But funny. It’s a lot like the old-style showbiz duos, like Carol and Julie at Carnegie Hall at Christmas. But without Carol and Julie and Carnegie Hall. Or Christ.
3. How do you personally celebrate Hanukkah? Oh, the traditional ways: lighting the menorah, saying my blessings, eating latkes at the Edison Hotel. Shopping for my mother and no one else. Writing checks to my mother so she can shop for everyone else.
4. You must get asked to a heap of Christmas parties. What do you do? I avoid them. People try to mask them by calling them “holiday parties”—there’s an invitation in my inbox right now for an Eggnog and Tree-Trimming Party—but we all know what they really are.
5. If you could replace Christmas with another holiday, what would it be? Another week of tax-free shopping. In the name of Jesus, of course.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 7, 2004