On the latest Ranker Podcast, Kate Siegel, the brains behind the Crazy Jewish Mother Instagram account, joins us for a frank and funny conversation. She's joined by her mother, Kim Friedman. Siegel's book Mother Can You Not? is the topic on the podcast, so the duo make a list of the most embarrassing moments of Kate's childhood. Though they live in New York now, these stories are from their earlier days living in Los Angeles.
Let's get rankin'!
Kate's 7th Grade Campaign for Student Council
Kate Siegel: I was starting a new school, middle school...
Kim Friedman: Harvard Westlake.
KS: Setting myself up socially for the next seven years up through college. New friends, new everything, and I'm going to run for student council. So my mom, at that moment, decides that it would be a good idea for my speech to wear a full Supergirl costume, and then at the end of my campaign speech, sing "There's No Business Like Show Business," but with the lyrics swapped out with the hot-button issues of the seventh grade class.
KF: But she won!
KS: But that's the weird, annoying thing about life and the book. Like all of the things she's really pushed me to do and campaigned for in a serious way are things that I'm incredibly grateful for that I did. But that was pretty mortifying
Belting Out Show Tunes for a Boy Band
KF: Kate is a fabulous singer. But a friend of a friend got us a meet-and-greet with 98 Degrees. That was her favorite group. So we got to the meet-and-greet, and they were so nice. Nick came over to her...
KS: Nick Lachey, heartthrob of 1990...of all the '90s...
KF: He asked what she wanted to do. So I had to say that she sings. She was little, in maybe third or fourth grade.
KS: But the worst part is that I did, I actually sang. What was I thinking?
KF: Not only did she sing, she sang a showtune for him. It was "Adelaide's Lament," from Guys and Dolls. He was very polite...
KS: I think I blocked that out.
KF: The room stopped. They thought she was gonna come out with rock and roll, with Britney...
KS: Or one of their songs. But she told him she wanted to be a singer and he said "You just keep being in plays and shows. Everyone in the room was wondering why everyone was singing from Guys and Dolls.
KS: It's also important to understand the context of this room. It's a room of 98 Degrees with their handlers and whatever, and poor strangers that had no idea what they were in for since they won this radio contest to meet them, and it was as private event. Then saw this girl singing show tunes, so there's that.
Downtown LA Gets the Best of This Budding Pop Star
KS: So I wanted to be a pop star, which was a horrible life mistake. At the time, I was the biggest nerd. This is someone who writes Law & Order: SVU fan fiction. So my mom was going to get me the pictures I needed to be a pop star on the cheap. We found a photographer that was supposedly the rock star photographer to the gods and knows everyone in the music industry. This going to be THE thing. First of all, no. This guy was not a legit photographer. So he starts taking pictures of me and it's just Downtown L.A. when it was extremely dangerous. We were driving around before we finally get to this alley. He's like "It's so gritty, it's going to be fabulous."
KF: I have to add this: she was either 11 or 12 and still had braces. We painted her braces out.
KS: I was in high school when that happened so its not true. So anyway...
KF: I thought it would be better if they played her song.
KS: So they're playing my music in this alley.
KF: To loosen her up a bit.
KS: So I'm posing, and I don't even know what I'm doing. It's a disaster. Then this homeless man sprung up from this trash pile completely naked and started screaming. He had track marks on his arm, so I was worried that he wasn't in his right mind.
KF: I said, "Keep shooting!"
KS: It turns out he was wearing shorts. He rips down his shorts and starts vigorously masturbating to the beat of my pop song.
KF: That was the first penis she'd ever seen! A lady also came down and dumped a bucket of water on him and said to not worry because it's just something he does when he gets riled up.
KS: Then she asked us to turn off the music.
The Real Meaning of the Four Seasons
KF: I always wanted her to go to private school.
KS: Please stop. This is so bad. This makes us sound like these horrible people.
KF: My husband and I got dressed up for the interview for the school, and she was sort of aggressive as a child, so we were a little nervous about the interview and what she was going to do.
KS: Applying for elementary school in this city is competitive. If you don't pee your pants you get in.
KF: We didn't know what they expected since we saw kids who walked out of there who looked like they could read the encyclopedia. We told her that she had to be polite.
KS: We prepped for this. There were months of prepping for this.
KF: So we sit outside, all dressed up, and then this very smarmy,but very nice woman comes out without [Kate] and says to us, "We just want you to know what your daughter just said." We thought that she blew it and I was ready to kill her at this point. So I asked if everything was okay, and she said, "We just asked your daughter 'What are the four seasons?' And she replied, 'It's this fabulous hotel in Hawaii and they give the best massages there,'" and she smiled and laughed. We were all really embarrassed, but she got in.