Five Minutes with Rob Kutner
The writer for The Daily Show discusses the price you pay for a Jewish education and why Stephen Colbert would make a great Jewish dad
How many kids do you have and what are their names and ages?
Just one (so far): a 22-month old girl named Sasha.
Do you use disposable or cloth diapers?
Disposable. We're actually pretty green--recycle, drive a hybrid, avoid emitting CO2 whenever possible--but with a first kid it was too overwhelming to even contemplate an alternative. By our 9th kid we'll be directing them to deposit excreta directly into a seedbed for a rainforest tree.
Is sleep training cruel?
All I know is, hazy sleep-deprived parents would probably be capable of even greater inadvertent cruelties.
But ultimately, you'll have to ask Sasha's therapist in 31 years.
Do you plan to (or do you already) send your kids to Hebrew School? And if so, do they enjoy it?
She's signed up to attend a synagogue pre-school that, next year, includes a bilingual Hebrew immersion component. This is very traumatic, as it will compromise my wife's and my habit of talking in Hebrew code about her.
What's the most expensive thing you ever bought for your kid?
Wow, this *is* a Jewish interview!
I think even at this early stage, "a Jewish education" is pretty hard to top price-wise. I think Steinhardt and Bronfman should endow something called "Just-After-Birthright" to send kids to Hebrew school in America. Imagine the money they could save on tour buses alone!
Is there any Jewish thing that your family did when you were a kid that you don't want to do with your kids?
Does "visiting Auschwitz" count? No, we probably would do that too--you just want to make sure you go when they're old enough to have memories.
No, I had a very positive Jewish upbringing. So much so that I actually discovered my Jewish identity by attending a Presbyterian school. So, not sure if I'd replicate that.
Do you have any idea what's in gefilte fish?
No, but I'm pretty sure the CDC is trying to isolate it.
Do you test out your comedy material on your kids?
A little bit. My wife is a comedy writer, too, and Sasha definitely stepped into it the day she said, "Daddy no funny. Mommy funny."
Who's the better Jewish father: you, or Jon Stewart? Or Conan?
Actually, I haven't worked for his show, but I believe Stephen Colbert might be. He's a devout Catholic who teaches at his kids' Sunday School.
Different rites, same guilt.
Are you a kveller?
Not really. I'd say I'm pretty nonchalant about my gorgeous genius hilarious daughter.
--Interview by Molly Tolsky
Rob Kutner is an Emmy-winning writer who has written for "Dennis Miller Live," "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," and the late great "Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien." He is also the author of APOCALYPSE HOW: TURN THE END TIMES INTO THE BEST OF TIMES! Follow Rob on Twitter at @ApocalypseHow, or check out more of his work at www.robkutner.com