Shalom Life | April 18, 2014

The Nice Jewish Guys Are Back

We chat with producer Adam Cohen about the "Nice Jewish Guys" calendar and his hit TV shows.

By: Ilan Mester

Published: June 14th, 2011 in Culture » Art » Interviews

The Nice Jewish Guys Are Back

Adam Cohen has produced hit TV shows such as The Simple Life, MANswers and Cupcake Wars. However, his latest hit doesn’t involve Paris Hilton or answering questions -- it involves nice Jewish guys.

Cohen came up with a calendar a couple of years ago that was full of nice Jewish men, instead of professional models or firemen. To his surprise, these guys are in high demand -- so much so that Cohen has produced a brand new Nice Jewish Guys calendar for 2012. We chat with him about the new edition and the calendar’s growing fan base.

SL: How does the 2012 calendar compare to last year’s edition?

AC: All new guys except Andrew. He's such a mensch that I bring him back every year. Go figure. This year we have a really fun variety. There's the guy in the yarmulke shop, the magician, the athlete and the "bro" nice Jewish guy. I was thinking people loved the little stories we capture and we didn't want to put the guys up against a tree. We wanted to capture who they are. It makes the whole calendar a fun journey. Also this year, drum roll please, we have the Nice Jewish Girls of 2013. We added three months in 2013 and they are all Nice Jewish Girls. It's a fun treat and a way to test the waters for a whole separate calendar for NJ Girls next year.

Why do you think these calendars have become so popular?

It's so unexpected. These guys never get the spotlight and that's why people love it. They are underdogs. These guys are good catches but are always overlooked for the hunks, the Jon Hamms of the world. No one would think of putting these guys on a calendar. People look at it and, at first, laugh then cheer, "It's about time!"

Who’s one of your favourite nice Jewish guys this year?

I love them all. I happen to dig Ben who's on the cover or I wouldn't have put him on the cover. He was a quick shoot that we never thought would wind up being a cover shoot. It just didn't seem to totally click in the moment but when we saw the pics something magic happened. That little dog just made it all perfect. I also love Felicia who's Ms. February of 2013. I know a lot of girls like that. She's sort of the Jewish princess.

How was the casting process for the calendar?

Casting is always tough. We need real people, who are nice and fit the bill. We have people fill in a questionnaire and we do a test shot. Then it's a matter of who belongs and how all the guys mesh in the calendar. It's sort of a puzzle.

Last year you told me there was a rumour that Seth Rogen and Norman Lear have Nice Jewish Guys calendars. Do you know of any other celebrity fans?

I know Jillian Barberie told everyone on KTLA in L.A. how much she loves it. I also know Oliver Stone has seen it. Allegedly also Chelsea Handler has one too.

Do you consider yourself a nice Jewish guy? If so, will we ever see you on one of the calendar pages?

You'll never see me in the calendar because I try to make sure all the guys are single. I'm happily married with a very little Nice Jewish Guy. No plans to put him IN the calendar but maybe one day he'll just inherit the whole empire. Ha ha!

What projects are you working on with your production company?

Our production company, Super Delicious, is very busy. We have a hit series on Food Network called Cupcake Wars. We've sold pilots to Bravo and to HGTV and developing lots of stuff. There's a few nice Jewish guys in those shows. Just not the ones in the calendar but maybe one day.

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