“There are so many Christmas songs out there. I wanted to give the Jewish kids something to be proud of. We’ve got Adam Sandler’s song, which is hilarious, but I wanted to try to get across some of the depth and spirituality inherent in the holiday in a fun, celebratory song. My boy Kojak was in town so at the last minute we went into the studio in the spirit of miracles and underdogs and this is what we came up with. Happy Hannukah!” — Matisyahu
It also happens to be one of the craziest holiday music videos I’ve come across–Hanukkah or otherwise. Sure, there is that ridiculous Hall & Oates one and the one done by The Ramones, but this one has a Jew getting knocked over by a guy wearing a Santa hat who then wakes up in a bed with a Roman being fed grapes by a lady standing next to said bed. That’s pretty weird, and only the beginning of it.
I know there is sort of a controversy surrounding Matisyahu. It isn’t even listed under a “controversy” section on Wikipedia. He shaved his beard, dyed his hair, got divorced, and moved on from being so religious. That appears to be all there is to it. I just want people to enjoy this fun music video for the holidays.
There are at least two cast members worth mentioning.
Antiochus is played by Tony Cavalero who has gone on to be in quite a few things including Becoming Santa (2015), which Lisa reviewed last year.
Oh, and the lady standing next to the bed is none other than Jacqui Holland of late night cable fame in an early role. Yes, I know she has done other things, but that’s where I know her from and I’ve reviewed all but one of them on the site. I love spotting her in earlier roles. It’s like spotting Marilyn Monroe in movies before she became famous. I didn’t even recognize her till I saw her name in the credits.