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Jewish Man Regrets Telling Oprah He’d Never Date a Jewish Woman

Infamous audience member from 1993 show now married to a Jewish woman

Brigit Katz
September 11, 2014
Oprah Winfrey. (Mike Windle/Getty Images for TWC)
Oprah Winfrey. (Mike Windle/Getty Images for TWC)

The guests on The Oprah Show have given us plenty of cringe-inducing moments that will go down in pop culture history (remember when Tom Cruise jumped on the couch?). The show’s audience members have been, in contrast, pretty tame, with the notable exception of a Jewish attorney named Alan Gurvey. In a 1993 episode of the show, Gurvey took it upon himself to let the world know that he would never, ever, date a Jewish woman:

“Jewish women are identical,” he said. “From their looks right down to their attitudes. They’ve got short, dark hair with makeup and big hips, and their attitudes? I mean, I don’t even need to go out with a woman. I just fax them my resume: ‘Ivy-league lawyer.’”

As it turns out, spouting offensive nonsense on public television is bad for your love life, even if you’re an Ivy league lawyer. After the show aired, Gurvey found that women—Jews and non-Jews alike—weren’t exactly keen on dating him.

“Dating after the show was very difficult for me,” he said during an episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now? “The cloud of The Oprah Show hung over my head.”

And because nothing prompts an existential crisis like a lack of hot dates, Garvey soon realized that “a person is simply a person regardless of their religion, color of their skin, or whatever.”

Fast forward 20-odd years, and Garvey is happily married—gasp!—to a Jewish woman named Nancy. They have a son and daughter, and the family celebrates Jewish holidays and attends synagogue.

Here’s hoping that Garvey raises his daughter to be proud of her heritage and her looks (whatever they may turn out to be). I also hope that he burns the footage of his appearance on The Oprah Show, because I imagine his kids will be seriously mortified if they ever see it.

Related: Talk Therapy

Brigit Katz is an editorial intern at Tablet.