Who are your favourite comedic actors?

There are so many to choose from, but chances are you’ll hear Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell discussed again and again when the question comes up.

They have collaborated on such beloved movies as Anchorman and its sequel, but throughout their careers, both have proven themselves to be admirably versatile performers.

Continuing to showcase a broad skillset, both are currently starring in The Shrink Next Door, a psychological drama based on a captivating true story.

Directed by Michael Showalter, the miniseries began premiering on Apple TV+ on Friday, November 12th 2021, and has already generated some serious discussion.

After the first episodes, audiences have found themselves curious about one thing in particular. Are Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd Jewish?

still from The Shrink Next Door, Apple TV+, Bloomberg Media

Are Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd Jewish?

Paul Rudd is Jewish but Will Ferrell isn’t.

Reflecting on Paul’s background, he was born in Passaic, New Jersey, U.S. to English-born Ashkenazi Jewish parents.

His father – Michael Rudd, who sadly passed away in 2008 – was actually a historical tour guide and was also the former vice-president of TWA.

Looking back even further and examining Paul’s heritage, his grandparents were Jewish immigrants. They moved to London from Belarus, Poland.

Will, on the other hand, was born in Irvine, California to Betty Kay and Roy Lee Ferrell Jr.; his ancestry includes German, English, and Irish.

Although Will isn’t Jewish, the character he plays in The Shrink Next Door is, as is Paul’s. Will portrays Martin “Marty” Markowitz, who is Jewish in real life. So, the actor’s accent reflects this in the series.

The Shrink Next Door | Official Trailer | Apple TV Plus

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The Shrink Next Door | Official Trailer | Apple TV Plus
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“Just embrace the complexity”

As highlighted by USA Today, comedian and actress Sarah Silverman recently commented on non-Jewish people playing Jews in film and TV:

“In a time when the importance of representation is seen as so essential and so front and center, why does ours constantly get breached even today in the thick of it?”

This has helped facilitate a discussion regarding whether there is an issue of non-Jewish actors landing Jewish parts. Indeed, this is something that Judy Klass – senior lecturer of Jewish Studies and English at Vanderbilt University – has acknowledged.

She argued that “questions of representation and minstrelsy, and appropriation are tricky enough, and then there’s this whole issue of whether people who aren’t Jewish should play Jews.

Moving on, she added: “Just embrace the complexity, embrace the ambiguity. This stuff is weird, and it’s getting weirder and more sensitive as bigotry is becoming more open than ever before in decades.”

The Shrink Next Door schedule

You likely already know that the first three episodes were made available simultaneously on November 12th.

There are 8 episodes in total and they’re scheduled to drop each Friday on Apple TV+.

So, the finale is anticipated to premiere on Friday, December 17th 2021.

The Shrink Next Door is streaming on Apple TV+.

In other news, How many episodes are in the Righteous Gemstones season 2?