If you ever found yourself watching Nickelodeon in the 90s, you may remember an awesome, puppet-filled show called Weinerville. If you ever find yourself watching Nick Jr. these days, you’ll hear the Weinerville star and creator, Marc Weiner, as the voice of Map and Swiper the Fox in Dora the Explorer. We sat down with the comedian and father of three to talk about Pete Seeger, embarrassing dads, and the Jewish heritage of Map.
Growing up, did your kids think it was awesome that you were on TV, or were they embarrassed of their dad, just like everybody else?
Do you think that Jewish people are inherently funnier than the average Joe?
No, I don’t think being Jewish has anything to do with being funny.
On Dora, you do the voice of Map. In your mind, is the Map Jewish?
I never thought of that before… I don’t think so.
So… Pete Seeger wrote a song about you?! Tell us about that.
When I was on the Clearwater Sloop, the Captain wanted to eat red meat and I wouldn’t serve it, so I think he asked Pete for help to get me out of the kitchen. It worked.
You’re working with your son Max to bring back your hit Nickelodeon show, Weinerville. What’s it like to work with one of your kids?
All of my children are talented in their own way. It is an honor and sooooo cool to work on projects with them and watch them step up and make contributions to the world.
My editor heard it through the grapevine (her babysitter) that the creators of Dora the Explorer are Polish immigrants. Is this true?
Not sure, but one is Jewish (Eric Weiner) and one is married to a Jew.
Marc is currently touring the country performing his Jewish stand-up comedy show. His act is about becoming more observant. He is also part of the Nonviolent Communication team at Occupy Wall Street. Check out his YouTube channel here.