Alumni Profile: Jason and Randy Sklar and Aaron Feldman (Nivonim 1988)
Jason and Randy Sklar and Aaron Feldman (all Nivo 1988) have been friends since their Machon summer. Recently they embarked on a project born out of a relationship that was formed at Ramah.
In a conversation with Alumni Coordinator Robin Rubenstein, Jason and Randy said that the decision to go to Ramah was a big moment in their lives. It was a turn from focusing on sports to exploring new areas. They had leads in the Nivo English play and gained new skills. Looking back at the experience, they feel that Ramah played a huge part in paving the way to their success.
The Sklar Brothers grew up in St. Louis and while they were at the University of Michigan they decided to pursue a career in comedy. They have released 4 critically acclaimed comedy albums, have had two Comedy Central Half Hour Presents specials, and have a Netflix special titled “What Are We Talking About.”
Randy and Jason are also writers, directors and actors appearing in a wide variety of shows from Entourage to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to Maron, to Curb Your Enthusiasm. They are perhaps most well known for their show Cheap Seats, a cult hit that appeared on ESPN Classic for 77 episodes.
Their camp friend Aaron Feldman, who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, is a feature film director, writer and producer with over 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry. He has sold and developed screenplays for Hollywood studios such as CANAL +, MGM, FOX, and FoxASIA. Before entering the film industry, Aaron worked in counter terrorism in the DC area. He sold his first feature film about his experience.
According to Randy, “Aaron Feldman met with us and said, ‘I have this idea for a movie I’m thinking about doing and I wanted to know if you guys wanted to help me out. It’s a movie about poop.’ Jason and I had the same initial reaction you did. We were like, ‘This isn’t our style, our brand of comedy. It doesn’t feel right. I don’t think this is something we want to do.’ He very smartly said, ‘Why don’t you think about it over the weekend?’ We did and our thought was, ‘Could we do a smart, interesting, honest discussion about this subject?’ It’s something everybody does, yet people don’t talk about.”
And this is how their collaboration on the 2018 film “Poop Talk” began. The film is an open and honest look at a taboo topic in today’s society. The docu-comedy features actors and comics Kumail Nanjiani, Nicole Byer, Adam Carolla, Rob Corddry, Nikki Glaser, Pete Holmes, Eric Stonestreet and others sharing related stories.
Jason commented, “In order to make the movie, we leaned on relationships and our reputation. Three things happened during the interviews: 1) People were funny, 2) People were honest about how they felt, and 3) There were profound personal stories that revealed things about themselves and their family history.”
Randy added, “It is the comedian’s way and the Jewish scholar’s way to ask ‘why?’ That’s what we did with this movie. Poop is universal. It’s not shameful, and shouldn’t be. With all the things that separate people, this is one that unites.”
“Poop Talk” is available on Amazon Prime.