Nice Jewish Guys Get Their Spotlight

Published: May 21st 2010
in Culture » Television

Jordan D. is featured in the Nice Jewish Guys calendar
Pic: Courtesy of Adam Cohen
A a mock up of the Nice Jewish Girls calendar
Pic: Courtesy of Adam Cohen
Adam Cohen and his staff manning the booth at the L.A. Gift Show
Pic: Courtesy of Adam Cohen

As a TV producer, Adam Cohen has worked on megahits like The Simple Life (starring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie), Manswers and MTV’s The '70s House. About two years ago, Cohen decided to produce something completely different: calendars.


These calendars don’t feature firemen or professional models. Instead, they showcase nice Jewish guys. The men featured on the calendar pages aren’t necessarily muscular, but they’re smart, funny and sometimes self-deprecating.


To Cohen’s surprise, women are loving these nice Jewish men and gushing over the calendars. Shalom Life caught up with the producer to talk about how he came up with this original idea and whether there will ever be a Nice Jewish Girls calendar.




How did you come up with the concept for the calendar?


This was an idea I had in my head for years. It's one of those "I should do this" sort of things but you never do. I was just around the right group of motivated friends one day who insisted I do it. Everyone who heard about it cracked up. I would say "They put firemen and Playboy chicks on calendars but what about guys like me!?" I started improvising in a restaurant how the guys would pose and their bios. People were cracking up. It's the ultimate irony putting these unsung heroes into a calendar of their own. Well, the joke's on me. I had no idea how popular the "nice Jewish guy" image is. Girls love them and gushed at the calendar. I realized that what started as a joke actually hit a note with people. I guess it's a facet of living in tough times and so many women have careers and just want a partner who is reliable and not some jerk. Nice Jewish guys have that image of being nice to a fault. 


How would you describe a nice Jewish guy?


He's the guy who doesn't classically get the girl in a bar. Instead he's the guy that wins her over time and persistence. He's the guy you can trust and he's sensitive to your feelings, sometimes to his fault. I think for so long this guy has been ignored, and with this calendar I'm saying "look how lucky we all are to have these guys around... why don't we celebrate them for once."


What was the casting process like?         


That was the tough part. Casting was a mixture of online postings, nominations from friends, twittering the world and friends telling me "have I got a guy for you." I was actually surprised how many really good-looking guys I got. Pictures with their shirts off and ripped stomachs and movie idol good looks. I was like "uh... he’s too good looking." Some guys got pissed that I didn't cast them but we were looking for a very particular guy. Not the guy out on the dance floor but instead, the guy sipping a drink in the corner who was deftly afraid to ask the girl to dance. 




How has the calendar been received?        


OK, I'm really a one-man band with this. I've tried to get the word out but I'm sure I could be much better at this. Had I done it right it would be a household name right now like Garfield. I have had so many positive responses of "genius" and "oh my God this is perfect for my friends." I really hit a nerve. Rumour has it that Norman Lear has one hanging in his kitchen as well as Seth Rogen. Also, a friend of a friend was working on the new Ollie Stone film, and apparently when he showed up with the calendar on set they stopped filming so they could flip through the calendar. No one has ever done this and it's blowing minds. 


Related articles: (Nice Jewish Guys, calendar, Jewish girls, The Simple Life, Adam Cohen)
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