Episode 12- ENCORE Wiseguy Charming

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I am re-releasing this episode with standup comedian and actor, Ethan Herschenfeld. We talk about his most recent project, Thug Thug Jew, and his experience with often being typecast as the villain. We discuss diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation within the entertainment industry. As a Jewish comedian, Ethan talks about the fine line between producing comedy that is inoffensive while still being relevant – which can change quickly based on the political and cultural temperatures. The latter part of the episode features a fictional story written and read by Parker James. Parker’s story is inspired by Ethan’s comical experience of playing Prince Charming in a children’s theater and being called out by a little girl for not meeting her “princely” expectations.

Wise Guy Charming - A Fictional Story in Print


[00:01] Ethan Herschenfeld introduced
[00:59] From Opera Singer to Comedian/Actor
[02:38] Thug Thug Jew
[04:10] Typecasting
[08:09] Diversity in the entertainment industry
[12:16] Cultural appropriations in entertainment
[16:40] Addressing cultural issues in comedy
[20:30] Upcoming projects
[22:59] Ethan’s writing prompt
[26:39] Wiseguy Charming
[30:09] A disinterest in the family business and dream of acting
[31:06] Acting classes while working for the family business
[32:23] Dream role as Prince Charming
[33:37] A surprise confrontation

  • Ethan spent the better part of two decades as an opera singer, before transitioning to stand up, where he enjoys the spontaneous laughter and the release of energy from the audience.
  • Although there has been a push for diversity in theater and TV, racism is still woven in storylines in how villains are written as certain ethnicities. There is still an infinite appetite from audiences for cliche and offensive storylines related to certain ethnicities and religions.
  • Comedy is a different world where you're getting laughs and allowing people to unload baggage around topics that are very charged.
  • The beauty of theater and performing arts in general, is it opens up a world of empathy for the audience and for the performer to explore things that they don't get to explore in their real lives. There has to be, however, a push to diversify roles and casting and be cognisant of cultural appropriation.
Ethan Herschenfeld: Actor and comedian His album Thug Thug Jew was #1 on iTunes and Amazon and the special is on YouTube: https://youtu.be/AUA8wel23qI 
High Maintenance (hbo): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpJ--b-Sd4A
Boardwalk Empire (hbo): https://youtu.be/vqUuys6pJCE
Red Notice on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/watch/81161626?trackId=259607612&tctx=6%2C1%2C5a5fe77d-2b17-41ef-94a4-13a67831e188-448571224%2C6c29447b-cdcd-48f3-afeb-832d0026d654_63186441X101XX1637761873650%2C%2C
2020 reel https://youtu.be/a6TXfWrxckk 
WEBSITE: ethanherschenfeld.com
TWITTER: @ethanherschenfeld
INSTAGRAM: @eherschenfeld
David Feldman Show: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/david-feldman-show/id321997239