On the third Monday of every month, at New York City’s Parkside Lounge, the comedian and writer David Tuchman hosts what could be described as a rather, well, unorthodox reading of the weekly Torah portion. Going chapter-by-chapter through the Hebrew Bible, his monthly show OMGWTFBIBLE analyzes, questions, and dissects the text with a healthy dose of humor, irony, and 21st-century wit.
The atheism that Tuchman declared in the very first show does not impede his fascination with and appreciation for the Biblical texts he learned in his yeshiva youth. The structure of OMGWTFBIBLE is recognizably Jewish, with analysis following straightforward explication, but Tuchman’s goal is to bring the text to modern, secular audiences, rather than inspire exegetical debate. As Tuchman puts it, “I’m kind of taking the Mystery Science 3000 approach to the Bible.”
After every show, Tuchman tries to talk to everyone in the audience who has questions. His view on the project is that it’s his personal version of Talmudic analysis, and “whoever wants to could have their own version, too.” The show features occasional guest stars, and Tuchman is inspired not just by his own analyses, but by those of others. Type up your favorite Bible passage, retell it in your own words, and send it on to firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps your interpretation will find its way to the stage as well.
February 1, 2013