My hipster brethren over at Heeb Magazine (a super funky mag aimed at young Jews), have posted a list of the 8 "Jewiest" moments in Law & Order, which ends its 20 year run tonight. It's snarky as well as admiring — which is, of course, the Heeb ethic, and it highlights how great the writing was on L&O:
Original Air Date: May 21, 1997
Special Jew Guest Star: Susie Essman (Pre-Curb Your Enthusiasm, she’s got like 2 lines.)
Plot: Gunman opens fire at a Jewish charity boat party. Was it antisemitism?
Best Line: “Listen, if I wanted to kill Jews I would just run a red light in my taxi. This is New York City.”
The Takeaway: It turns out the shooting had nothing to do with antisemitism, and the latter half of the show’s just standard gentile fare. However, when Briscoe and Curtis interview an Arab cab driver, he shoots back the best Jewish line of the entire L&O run. (It’s worth repeating: “Listen, if I wanted to kill Jews I would just run a red light in my taxi. This is New York City.”) It gets me every time; we’re everywhere! Who writes for this guy, Henny Youngman?
It is a great line. And it was written by Rene Balcer, who we're talking to on TOTN today! (Check it out, here.) I'm kvelling.