It’s not often that the editor of an illustrious newspaper chain ends up being featured in the very pages he edits — but our editor, Gersh Kuntzman, is … how shall we put this … unconventional. But interviewing our own editor is completely reasonable because the peripatetic Kuntzman has a book coming out. “Chrismukkah: The Official Guide to the World’s Most-Beloved Holiday” is a hilarious take on holiday rituals, family tensions and wintertime recipes — and, conveniently, it makes a perfect gift this Chrismukkah season (Kuntzman will be reading from the book on Monday, Dec. 4, at the Park Slope YMCA’s “Writers on the Rooftop” series). In an unprecedented interview that could cause a rift in the space-time continuum, Kuntzman checked in with our editor, Gersh Kuntzman, who later edited the interview with Kuntzman.
Q: I’m going to go on record as saying you’re a complete hack. Interviewing yourself. The nerve!
A: Look, I don’t give too many interviews, so you should be thankful.
Q: You do seem to keep busy, what with your editing work at The Brooklyn Papers, your monthly BCAT show, your award-winning show, “SUV: The Musical!” and your scintillating coverage of community board meetings. How do you do it?
A: Well, you know me. If there’s one motto that defines Gersh Kuntzman it’s this: Live life to the fullest.
Q: Remember who you’re talking to. I know Gersh Kuntzman. In fact, I am Gersh Kuntzman. And the Gersh Kuntzman I know spends most of his time cowering. That said, let’s talk about the new book. What is Chrismukkah anyway?
A: My friend, you’re asking the wrong question. It’s not “What is Chrismukkah?” but rather, “Why has Chrismukkah been hidden from us all these years? Why don’t Americans know even the basics of this beloved holiday?”
Q: Since you’re interviewing yourself, you might as well answer.
A: Chrismukkah is every bit as venerable as those “more-popular” holidays: Christmas, Hanukkah, Flag Day. But those knock-offs get all the attention.
Q: Wait a second, Christmas and Hanukkah are knock-offs of Chrismukkah and not the other way around?
A: I just said that, brainless. We really should talk to the editor about getting better reporters here. But, yes, Chrismukkah is actually the original yuletide holiday. It dates back to when the Four Wise Men showed up after the birth of the baby Jesus.
Q: Four Wise Men? I thought there were only three.
A: Oy vey and praise Jesus! As the Bible’s Book of Rotations tells us…
Q: Book of Rotations? What’s that?
A: You really don’t know the Chrismukkah story do you? Well, it’s all in my book — all of the forgotten Biblical tales, plus Chrismukkah songs, the story of the world’s first inter-marriage, Charles Dickens’s never-before-published novella, “A Chrismukkah Carol,” and, of course, the 10 primary rituals of Chrismukkah. My favorite is rule number 10: Never have a long goodbye at the door — which is really good advice all year long.
Q: I hear there are also traditional Chrismukkah recipes.
A: Yes. Try the ham latkes, gefilte shrimp or the oyster hamantaschen. They’re out of this world!
Q: Is Chrismukkah in danger of becoming overcommercialized?
A: Of course it is. Commercialization of the holidays is exactly why everyone should buy my book. For just $14.99, you can discover numerous ways in which Chrismukkah can be saved from the forces of capitalism. For just $14.99 — available at stores near you! — you can help keep Chrismukkah pure.
Q: Where do you stand on Festivus?
A: Festivus is a fake, made-up holiday.