Just this week, icons George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, have died. But before you join the rest of the world in yelling, "I am officially done with 2016," take heart: A bearded delight by the name of the Fat Jewish is coming to the 305 to save your year.
If you are familiar with the Fat Jewish (née Josh Ostrovsky), you are more than likely one of his 9 million Instagram followers. It's easy to see why he's so popular: In just one day last week, he had friends such as Blake Griffin, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Arianna Huffington filling his Instagram stories. He's hilarious, against body shaming, and incredibly proud of his ability to give zero fucks. He also has three rescue pups, including @Toastmeetsworld, who has 370,000 followers and growing.
Before he headed to the 305 from his beloved 212, New Times caught up with the quick-witted funnyman moments after a couch had been delivered to his home. He plans to upholster the piece with images of Nicolas Cage's face. You see? The Fat Jewish is a weirdo, and it's why you'll love him if you already don't.
Miami New Times: You and Miami nightlife guru Josh Wagner have quite the bromance.
The Fat Jewish: Josh Wagner is a great man and a great American. I can only explain him as a very Asian, futuristic, Matrix type. He's a fan of wearing kimono-type fashions. He's very future. Essentially, what I am saying is that I would hit it. In a world filled with strange things, me and Josh Wagner fucking on a Nicolas Cage couch just makes sense.
You're a true New Yorker. So how does the 305 compare?
I love Miami. There are a lot of different Miami scenes, and I am not sure how anyone could hate. You can go to some weirdo warehouse rave, or you could hang with old Jews and redheaded Cubans at some bar. You can Jet Ski at any moment. How can you be mad at that? I like to know if I wanted to spend my day eating a hoagie on a Jet Ski that I could do that.
What's going to go down at your New Year's Eve soiree at Basement?
It's going to be pretty loose. I love live animals in the club and really tried for goats. That got shut down because of some sort of "health hazard," but I suppose I understand. The theme I am going for is 2 Live Crew meets fat bearded men. Imagine two luscious black women with incredible behinds and Josh Wagner and me in man-thongs.
Speaking of live animals, will your Instagram-famous dogs Toast or Muppet come with you?
I am not bringing Toast and Muppet because they are divas and have their own schedule. I am almost positive they are booked for some downtown, chic New York City soiree. They are working. Toast is going to go full Lohan at some point — I can feel it. You hit that level of stardom and just start spiraling out of control. She only drinks sparkling water and only likes Uber Black by herself. Just imagine Mariah Carey with no teeth. If Toast was eating burrata at Soho House right now, I wouldn't be surprised. They have celebrity friends I don't know about. Wilmer Valderrama rolls up to me in fingerless gloves and a beanie on a 90-degree day in L.A. and is just like, "Yo, tell Toast I am sorry about the other night." Why are you friends with my dog?
You and your pups have made a life out of this crazed social media world. What's next?
Social media is forever, but I think real life is going to be the next big thing. I am not kidding; IRL is going to be really hot. Recently, I have been doing wild stuff that doesn't really involve the internet. For instance, I just drove across the country and reviewed the food at 150 strip clubs. I have a music festival called IRL coming soon, and everything is free. Tickets are free, all the booze is by Four Loko, so it's free and sure to black you out. So while I am using social media to get the word out there, I think less and less people are going out to see if it was fun and just rely on watching it sometime on their phones. I hate that.
Wait, tell us more about these strip club adventures. Was South Florida a stop on this tour?
I didn't hit up Miami. Miami, Dallas, Chicago, etc., will be next. I did hit up northern Florida, and the strip clubs there are mental. I went to a strip club where they had a make-your-own-hot-dog bar with 100 different toppings. How many toppings can you actually name? Like six? It was like gold flakes and crushed rose petals. It was fucking nuts.
What separated you from everyone else trying to get noticed on social media?
It was a combination of things. People connected with it because it wasn't just me putting funny things on the internet and hiding behind a Instagram handle. I share my life, and when they see me on the street, we are all of a sudden hugging. Second, I think life can be hell most of the time, so when I am in your hand while you're in the DMV and a baby is throwing up on you, you can look to my page to make you laugh. Third, I think is that I am always willing to say what other people want to say but can't. I set out to make a life where I never had to worry, Is this going to get my fired? If I gave any fucks, it would be terrible for my reputation. [Laughs] I really don't care — I am legit down to do anything.
Where did the name '"the Fat Jewish" come from?
I try to make names that seem sort of edgy and where you have to question, "Is this going to work?" The Fat Jewish" is a lot like "White Girl Rose" [a wine I started selling last year]. People really hated the name, but I knew it was different and wanted to see how far I could take it. People told me "the Fat Jewish" would never work, and next thing I knew I was getting a pedicure with Katie Couric for an interview. I want to take something a little controversial and make it a name you can say at the dinner table. It can be a challenge, but the challenge is fun to me.
White Girl Rose is delicious, by the way. How's the wine business?
The wine stuff is great. No one ever realized that people weren't speaking to people who, yes, are drinking wine but also are wilding out. Young people are drinking more wine than any other age group, but no one was speaking to them on a cultural level. Wine can be turnt. The kickoff to White Girl Rose was at a billionaire's house, had a pool filled with rosé, and a puppy-petting area. That was mostly for people on molly, but that was a wine party. I threw flat-screens in the pool. We had rosé dunk tanks. Our wines come with a straw that is the size of the bottle. But it is also really good. We source good wine, because if it tasted like a bum's ass, would you drink it again? No. Right now, we have the rosé, Pinot Grigio, and Babe, our sparkling rosé in a can. We aren't sure what will be next. Maybe Chardonnay. It is so dusty; I like the challenge to get people away from ABC — "anything but Chardonnay."
What does 2017 look like for you?
My resolution is to get fatter. People are like, "This is the year I am going to get it together." Fuck that. Then I think maybe I'll get into politics. Maybe I'll run for something. I could definitely win. Like city council — young people don't care about that. I'll win in a landslide and be the Donald Trump of the other side with the mentality of, if you aren't black and gay, you have to leave. You aren't a Hispanic lesbian? Get the fuck out. I'll go alt-left. But looking at the year, it's tough because I take it day by day. I'll never be anywhere people expect me to be, that's for sure. Maybe I'll get into oven mitts. I want people to be like, "Is this real?" If people question it, I have you exactly where I want you.
Any parting words for 2016?
It's been a real shit show of a year. I have hope for 2017. The polar ice caps are melting, and I kinda feel like the world is ending. But I think we will figure this shit out. But I really want celebrities to start dying that no one cares about. What is up with the selection? Can we do a trade with God? We will give you two guys from Nickelback and Scott Baio. In return, we get Bowie. If you are a celebrity, old, and famous, just stay indoors. Elton John needs to stay in his bedazzled three-piece suit and not leave the house.
Do you actually have hope for 2017?
I have hope for the future. Maybe this will be the year guys stop having soul patches. I try to be positive. Taking a lot of molly can help. That's my best piece of advice for next year: Take a lot of Molly, watch the sunset, and everything will be fine.
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