a different side of Israel

Interview with Eric Schwartz creator of the Matzah Rap Song

Eric Schwartz aka Smooth-E A friend sent me this Matzah video clip and the song was truely touching (Click to listen!). So I contacted the master rapper himself and here he is answering the OJ interview questions. Give it up for Eric Schwartz aka Smooth-E.

Where do you live?

Sherman Oaks, CA

Where were you born?

Tarzana, CA

How do you make a living – work?

Stand-up comedian, actor, rapper

What did you have for breakfast?

MATZAH! Then, a stomach ache.

What do you consider the worst job in the world?

Dick Cheney’s hunting buddy.

What do you consider the best job in the world?

Eric Schwartz aka Smooth-EMine! It’s so fun to go on stage and rock a party every night. I love seeing the surprise on peoples’ faces when Smooth-E rocks the mic. They don’t expect a guy who looks like an accountant to spit fire like Puff the Magic Dragon. They look at me and say, “Oh, cool. Tech support.” But when I take off my glasses, I go from wimp to pimp.

Your favorite word?

Parangaricutirimicuaro. It’s a Mexican tongue twister and I can say it five times fast.

How do I know it? Because, while I look like 100 percent “nice Jewish boy,” I am actually a quarter Step-Mexican. I know you’re asking yourself, “What the heck is ‘Step Mexican?” My step dad is Mexican. My parents are divorced and remarried. So, I figure I have four parents, two biological and two “step.” So I’m a quarter Step-Mexican.

I learned how to say “Parangaricutirimicuaro” because my nurturing step dad set aside a lot of time out of his busy life to torture me. He said, “You will say this word or you will eat this cerrano pepper.” That’s what makes salsa hot.

Your least favorite word?

“Gefilte” as in “gefilte fish.” I know I’m supposed to represent for “the cause” this time of year, but I can’t get behind that stuff. It’s fish in formaldehyde.

Gefilte is a myth. Have you ever seen one in the wild? Didn’t think so.
Gefilte fish is the Jewish Bigfoot. They try to pass off that glop of gelatinous, propaganda fish as delicious? That is doubly wrong since gelatin isn’t even kosher. Maybe when the Red Sea parted, maybe that’s what was flopping around on the
ground: Gefilte fish.

Why the Matzah song? How did that start?

It all started in ancient Egypt. There are many texts and movies to get you caught up to present day, so I’ll just detail the last couple years.

I did a parody song of “Hey Ya!” by Outkast called “Hanukkah Hey Ya!” in 2003. A teenager in North Carolina decided he wanted to make it his first animation project and it ended up circulating the Internet like crazy in 2004.

I began to realize the power of putting visuals to my songs. I had completed “Matzah!” in 2004 and wanted to repeat the success of “Hanukkah Hey Ya!” I came up with a wish list of animators and JibJab was high atop that list. I sent them the song and to my delight, the project was born! They had seen “Hanukkah Hey Ya!” and were diggin’ “Matzah!”

JibJab, of course, had unprecedented success with their political animations like “This Land Is Your Land”

“Matzah!” debuted on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and has since aired on CNN “Showbiz Tonight” and Bravo’s “Outrageous and Contagious: Viral Videos.”

The inspiration for the song? All practicing Jews can identify with eating matzah because we alter our carb lifestyles for a week each year.

I hope to raise the profile of matzah, maybe even make it trendy. It will quickly become the celebrity bread of choice. I can see matzah used as a taco shell, a replacement for seaweed paper in sushi, or even an edible serving plate.

Yes, matzah is going to be huge. After all, no other bread has it’s own song. When’s the last time you heard “I rock the beat/with whole wheat?”
NEVER! But please don’t steal that idea.

If nothing else, I hope “Matzah!” gives people a little tune to hum when crunching down on another succulent slice of juicy Jew bread.

Have you ever been to Israel?

Unfortunately, no.


Good question! I have really wanted to go for a long time. I would really love to perform there (attention show bookers)!

Eric Schwartz aka Smooth-E BIO

“Ripe for a career not unlike ‘Weird Al’ or Adam Sandler…Eric Schwartz is a real blockbuster talent waiting to be marketed at the very highest of levels for his inter-generational, cross-cultural appeal. Very physical and very daring, this guy is phenomenal…he’s going to be huge” (Beverly Hills Outlook).

Eric Schwartz aka Smooth-E is more than meets the four eyes. He’s the guy in your office or class youd never expect to see rocking the crowd into a frenzy at the local karaoke bar.

Circulating the net faster than the Paris Hilton video (Jerusalem Post), it’s hard to keep such a rare performer a secret. Schwartz is gaining popularity on national TV and radio, with appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, (NBC), BET’s “Comic View,” “The Sharon Osbourne Show” (The WB), “The John Henson Project” (Spike TV), “Live in Hollywood” (UPN), Vibes
White Boyz in the Hood,” “Latino Laugh Festival” (SiTV), and “Loco Comedy Jam” (Mun2). His voice is heard each week as the narrator of the MGM distributed series, “Animal Atlas.”

Seamlessly weaving through a countless lineup of original characters and musical pieces has made him a favorite at top clubs like The Improv, Laugh Factory, Caroline’s, Catch a Rising Star and the Comedy Store.

But Schwartzs comedy defies the boundaries of traditional stand-up. His multimedia appeal has the power to reach beyond the stage and onto traditional and new media.

Self-produced audio and video posted on his website at receives millions of downloads worldwide.

Eric Schwartz aka Smooth-E is making noise in comedy, music and television and refusing to turn it down.

For more information, contact Brook Forest Entertainment at (818) 347-5098.

Visit Eric online at


1 Comment

  1. This was cool! What a light!

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