Jonathan Ames is a talented, overly neurotic NY writer. He’s the modern Woody Allen, with nose fetishes and all. A more literary Woody Allen. You may remember him from the short-lived tv show Bored to Death. That wonderful HBO show that couldn’t survive because not enough neurotic Jewish people watched it and appreciated it. Come on Whitey (that’s presumably you, dear reader, and I am whatever the opposite of ‘whitey’ is), you can make sure everyone talks about Girls and Portlandia like they’re the best shows since Freaks and Geeks, but when Jason Schwartzman, Zack Galifianakis and Ted Danson come together to act on an amazing tv show full of NYC name-dropping, weed smoking, and neuroticism you become all ‘high-brow’ and ‘better than that’.
Ooooor you may remember Ames from that time he showed up hammered at the Writer’s Guild Awards and made it quite clear how cuttingly upset he was with HBO’s decisions to cut the show.
Today you get to see Mr. Ames in a role he doesn’t play on tv or novels: A Boyfriend. To none other than famous NYC singer/songwriter Fiona Apple. While reading the excerpt from the interview below, please tell me if you can relate as a woman having dated a Jewish man, or as a Jewish man having been alive. It’s so hard being neurotic. #whiteJewishproblems
Jonathan Ames: Scholar. Heartbreaker. Lover.
APPLE: Well, we’ve been broken up for almost two years, and he has another girlfriend. That’s why I feel really bad when I’m talking about people. I feel like there are women out there like, “Stop talking about my fucking boyfriend!” Maya Rudolph [Anderson's current partner] is gonna be like, “What the fuck? Can you just leave? Can you not be around anymore?” Insane.
DIEHL: Well, you did call that song “Jonathan.” You put it out there.
APPLE: I did that because Jonathan likes his name to be spoken. He pisses me off in so many ways, but I’m still very close with him. I felt like he deserves to have a song with his name in it. I was staying in an apartment in New York and he was just starting up his show [the HBO series Bored to Death]. I was writing this instrumental thing that I’d started after he had taken me to Coney Island—he takes all of his girlfriends to Coney Island. I was bitchy about it later on, but at the time he gave me this really wonderful day of simple joy and kindness. But after we broke up, I was like, “Am I gonna put this song on the album?” You know, this is going to sound awful, but it’s also about practicality. If I ever get a boyfriend again, do I really need to be explaining for the rest of my life why they don’t have a song but Jonathan does?
DIEHL: At this point, any boyfriend should assume that he’s eventually going to be fodder for a song.
APPLE: At least now they know I’m not just completely blaming the other person. “Werewolf” was really an important song for me because it was admitting, “Yeah, all the anger that I had toward you was justified, and you are an asshole, but I was a great dance partner, and I brought a lot of that out of you.”
DIEHL: So you’ve gone through some stuff in the seven years between albums.
APPLE: [laughs] I’ve had the most significant growth and craziness happening. I mean, the Jonathan relationship had so many different phases. We were long-distance and everything, so it was, like, a year before I would allow us to be called boyfriend and girlfriend.
And below is my favorite Fiona Apple song, featuring a young, bearded (who would have guessed?) Zack Galifianakis. Just goes to show how small the world of celebrities, musicians and comedians, truly is.