In defense of the Fat Jew

NEW YORK - June 3, 2014. For Features. The fat Jew, Fabrizio Goldstein in his Chelsea neighborhood.(photo by Tamara Beckwith/NY Post).

NEW YORK – June 3, 2014. For Features. The fat Jew, Fabrizio Goldstein in his Chelsea neighborhood.(photo by Tamara Beckwith/NY Post).

I’ve had a bunch of people ask me about this so I figured I’d write a whole post about it. Give the people (those three people who asked) what they want.
This week has been a rough one for the Fat Jew. If you’re on social media, you’re probably familiar the man. His Instagram and Twitter are followed by millions. He’s known for posting hilarious Memes and tweeting subversive and funny one liners. If you don’t know who he is, you’re probably confused and wondering why I’m calling someone a fat jew. Rest easy, my thin skinned friend, that is a self given moniker by the NYC born and bred Manhattanite of jewish descent. His name has been building steam for years and, finally, in the age of internet backlash, his time has come.
Gawker dropped this article:
http://gawker.com/thefatjewish-is-a-thief-1724537304
Writers and comedians everywhere were quick to step up to the plate and take their swings at the Fat Jew. It’s was an all out lambasting.

Now, I’m not here to say fat jew doesn’t steal jokes. Cause, on twitter and instagram, he certainly does. But, there are two things people are overlooking

1)Instagram accounts like his (and “fuck Jerry”) are here for entertainment purposes. You can look at them as curators of the bowels of the internet. Soooooo many accounts just post meme’s they found on the internet. These two just happen to be the two biggest accounts that do that on the planet. As someone who also tends to post funny pics I find on the internet on instagram, it’s all for fun. Better that then picture of you stupid fucking cat or a sunset. Add a funny caption and there you go!  At least Fat Jew does write captions (unlike “Fuck Jerry” who typically just posts pics with no caption. The fact he seems to be avoiding the brunt of this heat is kind of amazing). So, if he’s out trolling the internet for funny pics all day and posts one, he’s just doing exactly what 1000’s of other less successful instagram accounts do. The difference being, he’s famous. And, contrary to popular belief, he does give often credit to the source. How do I know? Cause he’s taken pics I’ve posted and given me credit. Pics, I might add, that I didn’t take and that I found on the internet. It’s a vicious cycle, I know.
Also, how is this a new thing? I don’t think the man has ever made any bold claims that he’s a functional meme factory , creating all original content. In fact, every thing I’ve ever read about him refers to him finding all his pics on the internet. So, no, he’s not sitting there with photoshop and creating 20 meme’s a day. No one is. But he knows where to go to find the best ones. Now, I’m not a “meme” guy on my account. I prefer finding outlandish pics and writing a funny caption. But is that so different? It’s all found material. Kinda reminds me of sampling, in a way. I’d bet that, when he has a source he can credit he does. When it’s just some random pic he found on reddit? The original source is not going to be that easy to track down and, honestly, I doubt he cares that much to search.

2)Now, his twitter/facebook joke stealing, I can’t really defend. From what I see, it’s real. I fully understand how this would infuriate anyone involved , as well as other comedians and writers in general. Hell, some of the people going at him are some of my favorite comedians. All I can lend that too is that he’s lazy on twitter. At the same time he doesn’t rely on either of those mediums nearly as much as he does instagram. It’s the lesser of his outlets for sure. Doesn’t make it okay but, I dunno people are acting like he’s never had an original thought in his life. Which is total bullshit. Regardless, the comedian backlash has been heavy and bitter. It’s to the point where I can say a comedian making a joke about Fat jew being a fraud is somewhat hack. Having been someone who’s followed him for years (and known him personally since he was just a rapper in “Team Facelift“) If the fat jew is one thing, it’s a funny person. He’s always been funny. You run into him on the street, and he’s riffing some ridiculous shit that only comes from his brain. In person, he’s one of the quickest witted people I’ve ever met. When he does write his own stuff, it’s always on point and has a very specific voice. He’s a naturally funny person. He’s not Carlos Mencia. He’s not Carrot Top. At the same time, he’s not a comedian. There is a difference. His “bits” don’t work in the construct. He’s never stood on stage and told jokes. His humor often comes from reacting to people and basic human interaction.

My buddy Evil and him had a short lived public access show on Manhattan cable for a few year back in the mid 2000’s. On this show they would take calls from various random new york lunatics, most of whom lived in washington heights and simply yelled out their crew names, called them both “white boy faggots!” and hung up. Now, this may not sound like entertainment but, trust me, it was must watch tv every week. Why? Cause Fat jew is a extremely astute and quick dude (So is Evil , btw, but this isn’t about him). His live banter with strangers and Evil, was great. He’s a guy who very much has his own brand of humor. It’s self depreciating, overtly NYC and weird. i wish I could find clips but, somehow, they have alluded the internet. That’s a feat in itself, honestly.

So, basically, my point is this: let him live. If you don’t like his social media ethics, then unfollow him. If you’re a comedian who is salty about his success, more power to you. If he took a tweet from you and didn’t give you credit, by all means, call him out. But to take all this and immediately strip him of being a funny person is not fair and not true. I haven’t known him for my whole life and we aren’t close friends. We’re friendly acquaintances who have been around each other for probably 10-15 years. That said, I’ve always respected the guy and he’s always been a good dude in general. But, most of all, he’s always been genuinely funny. He’s not a joke stealing sociopath. If anything, he’s got a brand he’s constantly pushing to stay popular. I think he knows that instagram and twitter are outlets to keep his name out there. But the real creative stuff he does is in writing TV show pilots and simply being himself in front of a microphone and camera. All the social media is a stepping stone towards that. It’s extra. Sure, instagram made him really famous but it’s never been something I’ve looked at as more than just recreational bullshit for him. A few years back him and his writing partner Jonny Sollis made a few trailers for show ideas they had. This was in the era of “The Hills” and “Laguna beach”. Well, they were fucking awesome. THIS is the type of stuff he’s meant to be doing. And I just hope this corny backlash doesn’t make that impossible for him.

So, To summarize,
Does fat jew take meme’s of the internet: Yes. Like 1000’s of others. In fact, it’s safe to say he’s the grandfather of that brand of instagram account.
Does he steal jokes on twitter: 100% and he should be ashamed of himself.
But, is he a truly funny guy with talent: absolutely.
yeah, that’s my take. Keep your head up, fatty.