Episode 9: Iris Bahr, comedian and actress

She's appeared on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' written bestselling books and now faces her toughest gig yet: appearing as a guest on our show.

The guest: If you're a fan of the HBO hit "Curb Your Enthusiasm," you're likely familiar with actress Iris Bahr. The Israeli comedian has appeared on a number of episodes, including in a now-famous scene where she gets stuck on a ski lift with the show's star, Larry David. Besides "Curb Your Enthusiasm," she's been in a number of sitcoms: "Friends," "Blunt Talk" and "The King of Queens." She was a series regular on the Israeli TV show, "Irreversible." But what she spends the bulk of her time doing is standup comedy, mostly in New York where she lives with her son.

The gist: Her talents go beyond the comedy world. She's done neuroscience and cancer research at both Stanford and Tel Aviv University. She's written and performed one-woman plays and she's written books, one of which chronicled her travels through South America and is called "Machu My Picchu." In today's episode, we catch up with Bahr to discuss her career, what it's like acting with Larry David and what she's working on next.

Further reading:

"Our Friend from Israel" is hosted by Benyamin Cohen. Our podcast theme music is by Haim Mazar, a Hollywood film composer who grew up in Israel. Follow our podcast on Facebook for behind-the-scenes access to the show.

Want to get our podcast episodes delivered straight to your phone each week? Here's how.

Actress Iris Bahr was born in the U.S., lived a lot of her life in Israel, and then returned to the U.S. Israeli actress and comedian Iris Bahr performs standup, appears on TV and is a bestselling author. (Photo: Courtesy)

Transcript

Benyamin: On this episode of Our Friend from Israel.

<Music>

Fans of the hit HBO show "Curb Your Enthusiasm" will recognize those notes in an instant. The show has been on for nine seasons and the premium cable network has ordered a 10th, which will be shot later this year.

Benyamin: Throughout the 90 episodes, which featured the curmudgeonly life of star, Larry David, we've not only been introduced to his immediate friends and family, but to an entire universe of side characters who enter Larry's life seemingly just to annoy him. There's the woman at the doctor's office who won't hold the elevator for Larry. There's the oyster chef who blackmails Larry into giving him tickets to Hamilton. Then there's the woman who got stuck on a ski lift with Larry.

Larry David: Anyway, it's okay. There's extenuating circumstances here.

Iris: No such thing as extenuating circumstances.

Larry David: Well, you got another half hour.

Iris: It's 5:41.

Larry David: They'll fix it.

Benyamin: After spending what seems like forever on the broken ski lift, Larry discovers some food in his pocket.

Larry David: Hey, Edible underwear. They're not bad.

Iris: How much time do we have left?

Larry David: Want some?

Iris: No, thank you.

Larry David: Take a bite.

Iris: I'm fine. Please.

Larry David: Take a bite.

Iris: Move that away from me.

Benyamin: The woman on the ski lift? That was played by Iris Bahr, a comedian from Israel. Besides "Curb Your Enthusiasm," she's been in a number of sitcoms: "Friends," "Blunt Talk," "The King of Queens." She was a series regular on the Israeli TV show, Irreversible. But what she spends the bulk of her time doing is standup comedy, mostly in New York where she lives with her son. Her comedy routines feature the usual fare, what it's like dating, being a single mom and living in the Big Apple. Perhaps what she's most known for are her characters. There is Rae Lynn Caspar White from the Deep South.

Iris: I'm going to be starting some cooking videos soon. Simple things like how to make an Eggo waffle properly like really don't burn it but get it nice inside, especially if you buy the blueberry kind and Pop-Tarts as well. We might do a whole thing of Pop-Tarts. There's a lot of stuff you can do with Pop-Tarts.

Benyamin: There's also Svetlana from Russia.

Iris: Look at this. This is fantastic. Can I have this in my size please? Hello, can I have this in my size? You see what my size is, yes?

Benyamin: Her talents go beyond the comedy world. She's done neuroscience and cancer research at both Stanford and Tel Aviv University. She's written and performed one-woman plays and she's written books, one of which chronicled her travels through South America and is called "Macchu My Picchu."

Benyamin: In today's episode, we catch up with Iris Bahr to discuss her career, what it's like acting with Larry David and what she's working on next.

Benyamin: Welcome to Our Friend from Israel, a podcast brought to by fromthegrapevine.com. I'm your host, Benyamin Cohen, and each week we'll have a conversation with an intriguing Israeli. They'll come from all walks of life, actors, artists, athletes, archeologists and other news makers. In today's episode, we chat with Israeli comedian, Iris Bahr.

Benyamin: Hello. We are joined in the studio today by my colleague, Ilana Strauss. Hello. How are you?

Ilana: Hey. I'm great. How are you?

Benyamin: Not too bad. Fans of the podcast, I want to let you know that often times I'll be interviewing our guest, and sometimes Ilana will be joining me and she'll be doing the interviews with the guest. Today, it's one of those episodes where Ilana is here.

Benyamin: Ilana, I've been doing these episodes, a few of these episodes already. I'm starting to get the hang of it. This is your first interview, first time hosting a podcast interview. How was it for you?

Ilana: It's good. I don't know. I interview people a lot but I'm not used to being recorded myself.

Benyamin: What do you mean?

Ilana: I put all these people on the spot and sometimes they're nervous. I'm just sitting back there being like, "I'm in control of this. They're going to see what I say." But now everyone is going to actually see what I say.

Benyamin: All right. It's recorded for posterity.

Ilana: Thank god.

Benyamin: For today's episode, you spoke with Iris Bahr. Can you tell us a little bit about her?

Ilana: Yes, she is a character actress and you've actually probably seen her in some things like she was in this really famous scene in "Curb Your Enthusiasm" where she's on a ski lift with Larry and ends up jumping off. Sorry, not to spoil it. She also had her own show where she played this Russian woman called Svetlana and she's just done a lot of stuff.

Benyamin: Is this the first time you spoke with Iris or have you spoken with her before?

Ilana: I have spoken with her before. I actually interviewed her and I went to her one-woman show, which made it a lot nicer to be talking to someone I already know.

Benyamin: Right. Yeah. That's right. Your story is up on our website at fromthegrapevine.com. If anybody wants to read that after they listen to today's episode.

Ilana: It is. Very good point.

Benyamin: All right. Without any further ado, this is From the Grapevine's Ilana Strauss interviewing Israeli comedian, Iris Bahr.

Ilana: I think I got to start asking you about other things.

Iris: Sure.

Ilana: I feel like I can't not ask you about Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Iris: Okay. [crosstalk 00:05:59]

Ilana: [crosstalk 00:05:59] I feel the podcast gods will just throttle me.

Iris: Of course.

Ilana: You're in "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and I felt like the question on everyone's mind is do you actually like skiing?

Iris: I've never skied before. I tried snowboarding once in Tahoe and pretty much spent most of the day on my ass. Luckily I didn't have to do any skiing. I just had to sit on the lift and then jump off the lift. I love snow. I have nothing against snow so being at that resort was fun. No complaints on that front.

Ilana: Going into that episode, what did you know going into shooting?

Iris: You know nothing. When I did the audition, it just said, "You're on a ski lift. You have to be off before sundown." That's all I got. You get one little, tiny piece of paper.

Ilana: That's so fun.

Iris: Then you go into the room and Larry is there and the rest of the cast and producers were there. I improvised that scene and then he just throws stuff at you. When he pulled out the edible underwear, I really didn't have an idea what he was ... I didn't even know until I saw the episode. Even after I shot it, I have no idea what the backstory was. You know nothing which is brilliant. Even when I did the last season now when I came in for a cameo, they didn't explain ... They were very brief about ... They're just going to ask you what happened with Larry back in the day. That's it. Only when I saw the episode, I was like, "Oh, okay."

Ilana: Is that on purpose so the character doesn't know?

Iris: Yes. I think in general they like everybody to be in that moment and keep it as real as possible and probably for security purposes as well even though everybody is always confidential anyway. I think that that's how it works. That's how they roll.

Ilana: Is he an odd man with you?

Iris: No, he's not at all. He's very lovely.

Ilana: I'm glad. It would be really sad if you're just like, "He's a terrible person."

Iris: Yeah. No. There are people I've met that look like terrible people, but he was not one of them. He's super nice and he's brilliant. He wants everybody around to be funny. He lets everybody be funny, which is not a given and he's just very generous. That's why the show that's all improv that he created, that's why it works so well.

Ilana: What are you working on now? I saw your play. I don't know if you're still doing anything with that.

Iris: Well, I just a short film based on that play, and I'm trying to raise money for the feature film version of that.

Ilana: Oh, whoa.

Iris: Actually the Svetlana vignette, if you recall that the show is made up of six different vignettes, so to speak, so I shot one of them. Now I ghost write and I write book proposals. I'm writing a proposal for Isaac from The Love Boat.

Ilana: I don't know what ... I vaguely-

Iris: Have you ever watched "The Love Boat"? Are you that young?

Ilana: No. I know that "The Love Boat" was a show.

Iris: Wow.

Ilana: And I feel like it was a reality show but I don't-

Iris: Oh, god. No, this is way before reality shows. The Love Boat was like in the I guess '70s and '80s. It's a classic show. After we're done talking, you must go and watch The Love Boat. It really is an iconic show of American television. There was Fantasy Island and Love Boat. They were back to back and everybody would show up on the cruise, these guest stars and they would have problems. It's a comedy. But it was really fun and it meant a lot for a lot of people.

Iris: Isaac was the only black series regular on that show. The crew was all White and he was a Black bartender and he had this lovely winning smile. Everybody knows Isaac. Ask anybody over I guess 25, I don't know, but they'll know Isaac. You need to watch that show. (singing) Looking at you and you have this ... You're like, "I have no idea what you're talking about." That's fine.

Ilana: You know what? It might not be my age though. It might actually just be my lack of knowledge of a lot of very classic things.

Iris: Okay. I'll give you that.

Ilana: I've never seen ... Thank you. It's a low bar but I'm glad I can jump that. I've never seen The Godfather. I haven't seen most of the Star Wars movies. I think I saw two of them.

Iris: I have a partner now. We produce this monthly comedy show called Just the Tip, which has become a hit. Her name is Periel Aschenbrand. She married an Israeli guy and somewhat settled down and I'm a single mom with a kid. We have our kids almost the same age. We were both wild girls in our youth and I've just remained that way. We do this comedy show at this amazing place in SoHo. We've been selling out. We've been getting all these huge comics so it's good.

Ilana: That's the same name ... Just the Tip is what our college standup show was called.

Iris: Oh, really? How interesting.

Ilana: It sounds like you guys stole it is how I'm feeling.

Iris: Probably not. I feel like the term has been around. Robert Kelly also has his comedy special called Just the Tip.

Ilana: So we stole it.

Iris: But I'm leaving for LA. I'm shooting an Israeli horror film starting next week.

Ilana: Okay.

Iris: Yeah. I'll be in LA for a month shooting that.

Ilana: A horror film.

Iris: Yeah. But a funny horror film.

Ilana: A funny horror ... Okay.

Iris: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ilana: Is it more funny or more horror-y?

Iris: I think it's more ... I don't know. You know what? It depends on how it's executed. That's where the director comes in. When you read the script, it can be scary but a lot of it is ... It's outrageous. Do you know what I mean? The violence is outrageous so it's not like, oh, god, we're scared. It's like so gory it's funny. Do you know what I mean? We're just a bunch of Israelis in the valley in this McMansion.

Ilana: Okay. How did this happen?

Iris: Well, the producer knew me and knew my work. I auditioned and they wanted me to come out. I'm coming out to shoot it. It's going to be fun.

Ilana: Are you often in things that aren't comic? I only associate you with comic things.

Iris: Well, my show wasn't very comedic, right? I mean, the show had a very serious tone to it. It's about death and loss.

Ilana: Yeah, it was pretty serious.

Iris: Yeah, I've done a lot of drama. Usually when I write stuff, they tend to take a more dramatic turn. I always try and combine humor with pathos. I don't like to hit anybody over the head. I'm not like Lars von Trier. Do you know what I mean? Where like let's get everybody so depressed they could kill themselves by the end of it.

Iris: I like to combine where one minute you're laughing, the next minute you're crying as long as it's real and it really epitomizes the human condition. I think that's what makes hopefully good art.

Ilana: What is the relationship between the comic and the ... I don't know. Not the horrible, just death. I guess death and comedy. Just wrap that into a ball right now.

Iris: The relationship between death and comedy?

Ilana: Yeah.

Iris: Comedy essentially I think we always get wrapped up in the small stuff. We forget about our mortality. We get caught up in such nonsense and so comedy, by making light of that or venting your frustration about it, things that really get to people and making it funny, it obviously helps in dealing with the minutia that could be challenging. But even with heavy topics like death, I mean, the ability to laugh obviously makes everything more tolerable. Why would you want to take everything so hard? That sounds like a nightmare but we do. I mean, we do it to ourselves. But the ability to laugh at stuff is a gift.

Iris: I think people that are so earnest, I really pity them. I really do. You talk to most comics or most interviews with comics, they're all very traumatized people with very ... Not everybody, but very challenging ... Every artist in general, very challenging background. Luckily you find an outlet and you're able to use it to help others, to help yourself, whatever it may be. You don't see too many people with perfect, cushy lives that are well adjusted that aren't accountants that you must go to.

Ilana: Yeah, yeah. My brother is actually an accountant.

Iris: Well, good for him. I don't judge. Is he like a fiery, wild guy?

Ilana: No.

Iris: No. Right?

Ilana: No.

Iris: He's an accountant. Again, no judgment. No judgment at all. Your brother I'm sure is a lovely guy. I don't want to say anything weird about your brother.

Ilana: I appreciate that.

Iris: What attracts people to certain professions is always interesting. A lot of people end up doing something because there's nothing they really want to do. It's just a sensible ... In LA, people are just ... A lot of people, they're in the industry. They're just hanging out wearing flip flops. Life goes by. It's not too expensive to live there. I mean, it's not cheap, but it's not New York. In New York, it's like the rat race is full on all the time. I think that people that make a lot of money, they may not like their job but they have enough money to enjoy their leisure time. Then other people like artists, they make no money but they enjoy what they do so they're not jetting off to Barbados, but they're performing for $5 a set and they're just enjoying their life. Do you know what I mean? There's always a payoff.

Benyamin: Hello, listeners. You'll notice that every single podcast on the planet ask you to rate and review them on iTunes. Why do they do that? Well, here's the answer. The more reviews and ratings that a show gets, the higher the show winds up on the iTunes charts which in turn helps more people discover the show. If you're enjoying this podcast, please head on over to iTunes and leave us a rating and a review. We greatly appreciate it.

Benyamin: If you're looking for more episodes of Our Friend from Israel, head on over to fromthegrapevine.com. One episode we'd recommend is our interview with Brian Blum, the author of a book about an Israeli startup called Better Place and its charismatic young CEO, Shai Agassi.

Benyamin: I think I read in your book he was also a competitive poker player with Ben Affleck and Tobey Maguire, and he ran in those circles.

Brian Blum: Well, I wouldn't say he exactly ran in those circles, but he used to sometimes play in the World Series of Poker, which took place in Las Vegas. At some point, Ben Affleck and Tobey Maguire were also in those World Series of Pokers, and Shai won a few small, but decent-sized pots as part of his poker playing, but he gave that up, actually, when he started Better Place. When Better Place went out of business, actually, he went back and played a little poker and won a little bit more.

Benyamin: Look for that episode at fromthegrapevine.com. Now, back to the show.

Ilana: Actually something I've been wondering about. I went to Israel a year ago and I had a friend there give me this whole explanation about how Israeli humor and American humor are different. I'm curious what's your take on that?

Iris: I think that Israelis definitely get American humor very much. They're well versed in all the American comics and these comics are selling out huge stadiums. No, I don't think it's that different and also the dawn of all these from ... All the comedy that's taken over Netflix, it's reached such a wider audience that people are becoming much more well versed in American comedy or British ... I think that the whole world is becoming more in tuned and I think we're all human so I think we all get human frailty and ... I don't know. I'm rambling. It's early.

Ilana: When you were growing up, did you come up with any characters while you were a kid?

Iris: I think my parents always made me do accents. Accents was always a forte, so when I was six or seven, they would cue me to do the Italian woman who's selling marble. We would go to Italy. We traveled a lot when I was a kid and I would imitate the guides. Back then it was cute. Today I'd probably get smacked. You know what I mean? I was always good with the accents, so I think I was always put on display.

Iris: I didn't create any particular characters. I didn't have imaginary friends. The characters just came later in life as a coping mechanism.

Ilana: Oh, okay. You got put to work pretty early,

Iris: I did.

Ilana: ... At least with the voices.

Iris: I did. I did indeed. At one point, my dad's friend, they're all Israeli, there all these bunch of Israelis living in New York, he goes, "Your daughter is like a radio." I'm like, "I don't even know what that means." I don't know if it was an insult. I don't know. [crosstalk 00:18:45]

Ilana: [crosstalk 00:18:45] I would try my Israeli accent here but I feel like it would-

Iris: Feel free.

Ilana: Okay. It is a difficult for me to try to do the Israeli accent because I don't really know how it go, you know?

Iris: It sounds a little more Russian what you are doing but it's okay. There's Russians in Israel, too.

Ilana: We don't have to do it now but I wonder what Svetlana is like.

Iris: I'm right here, honey. It's okay.

Ilana: Oh, my god. She's here.

Iris: They're all here. Everybody is sitting here.

Ilana: Oh, my gosh.

Iris: We're all having tea and some cheap crackers from Trader Joe. It's okay. Whatever you need. You're very adorable, by the way. You can't see her on the podcast but she's adorbs.

Ilana: Awe. You've traveled a lot in your life.

Iris: I have.

Ilana: Actually I read the book where you go through South America. I read part of it.

Iris: Oh, Macchu My Picchu?

Ilana: I think I really lost that book while I was traveling through South America so I didn't finish it.

Iris: You lost it, you said?

Ilana: Yeah. I had it. Then I was traveling with it. It was the book I was traveling with, what I was reading, and then I lost it. I don't know if it was in the jungle or somewhere else like Ecuador or something. Does any like particular time where you traveled ... Does any one event stick out to you that you've been thinking about?

Iris: Well, I think certain events because I've chronicled all my travels in those two books. Certain experiences had stayed with me. We were in Peru and the rafting guide died while ... It was a group ahead of us.

Ilana: Yeah, I've read that.

Iris: Did you get to that part before you lost the book?

Ilana: I did get to that part before I lost the book.

Iris: That was insane. That was insane. Then we still went on the rafting trip because we paid for it. We had to look for the body. They put the body in a sleeping bag. It was crazy, crazy stuff.

Ilana: So dismal.

Iris: I remember that. I remember getting lost in the jungle in Thailand for many hours freaking out until they found me, and I remember falling in love with this English man who was obsessed with sleeping with local women and just broke my heart over and over again. I followed him around sadly for weeks. I remember going in India, going up to the Himalayas to this rave so we'd hike up and they brought the speakers on this donkeys and we danced. It was so long ago.

Iris: I'm eager to get on a journey like that again but you can only do that kind of journey before you have any responsibilities whatsoever and you leave for six to eight months. Back then, nobody had a cellphone and nobody had email. You really are off the grid. If you wanted to run into somebody or make a plan, you had to leave a note on the wall of a guest house and hope that they saw the note. There's something really beautiful about that.

Ilana: It blows my mind a little bit though.

Iris: I know. You don't even know The Love Boat so of course ... This is like leaving a note at some random guest house to meet a friend just sounds insane.

Ilana: It sounds like putting a note in a bottle and just floating it out to sea.

Iris: You know what? It worked. Literally you get there and you find ... There was a billboard and you'd look at all these millions of notes and you'd see your name and it would say, "I'll be back in a week. I'm going to the islands. Meet me here." Then you would meet. If you didn't meet, you'd move on. You weren't pissed off that somebody didn't text you back or they didn't go. You know what I mean?

Ilana: Yeah.

Iris: You're really in the moment. You had to be in the moment. You couldn't be distracted or be somewhere else.

Ilana: Where would you travel if you could travel somewhere?

Iris: I really want to go to Morocco.

Ilana: Morocco? I just was in Morocco.

Iris: I want to go to Morocco. I want to go to Portugal. I took my son to Spain. I've been to Spain a couple of times but I've never been to Portugal.

Ilana: That's so weird. I just went to Morocco and Portugal.

Iris: Those are the two, Morocco and Portugal. I would like to go to South Africa and maybe Tanzania. I want to do some safari action. That's a big trip. That's not a four-day jaunt. That takes some planning.

Ilana: I don't recommend you doing it as a four-day jaunt. You'll be in an airplane a lot.

Iris: No. It sounds great. What is the theme of this podcast?

Ilana: I think it's just you, this current episode. I mean, not the entire podcast.

Iris: Yeah. Of course.

Ilana: We haven't been stalking you for ...

Iris: This is like a series about me. That's all it is. Just a whole series just about me.

Ilana: Yeah, I'm not going to bother actually letting you know about the previous episodes or asking you stuff to help with future ones. I'm just going to have you chat with me with this one.

Iris: You're going to spread out this hour over five episodes.

Ilana: Yeah, yeah. Actually.

Iris: That's what's going to ... 20 minutes each, getting to know Iris over the course of a month. Perfect.

Ilana: Just one for each Iris character.

Iris: Yeah, exactly. That will be the first one.

Ilana: That'll be kind of cute.

Benyamin: Coming up, Iris tells Ilana about her dream project.

Iris: Finally I read a lot of papers. I read The New York Times, Washington Post, TMZ. I love the TMZ. That's always fun to read about, all these [inaudible 00:23:40].

Benyamin: If you're enjoying this podcast, you'll want to check out our arts and entertainment section on fromthegrapevine.com. We've got an interview with an Israeli Star Wars producer, the scoop on Gal Gadot's latest project and a profile of Tel Aviv comedian, Sarah Markowitz. Check it out at fromthegrapevine.com.

Benyamin: Now, back to today's episode.

Ilana: Do you have any dream projects?

Iris: I wanted to do Svetlana. I tried pitching a Svetlana documentary series where she goes across America and examines American culture from different perspectives.

Ilana: Like Borat sort of?

Iris: Well, Svetlana is different than Borat because I'm not out to make anybody look stupid. I love Borat. I think he's brilliant. But Svetlana, she's the butt of the joke in a way, or I talk to people with respect. The humor comes from her character. I never want anybody walking out of the interview. I don't mind making them a little uncomfortable, but I never out to offend anybody or say something shocking and have them storm off. They know the character and it came out really great. I just have to find a platform for it.

Ilana: Ooh. That would be really cool. What would you be wanting to find out? Are you out on a mission as Svetlana to discover something?

Iris: Yeah. I think in general, just understanding the insanity that is America. What holds them together? What constitutes community? Is it causes and values now, certain groups? It's interesting.

Iris: I know this is taking a dark turn, but my dear friend now has pancreatic cancer. He's a young guy and the duration has been very quick. God willing he'll get through it but we all did this walkathon to raise money. You see these thousands of people across the ... Disease hits anybody. You see these things and that's this moment, it's very moving and touching and tragic but you see all these people and groups marching together. You're like, "Oh. Sadly, this is what has to bring people together or tragedy has to bring people together." It's sad that that's what it is.

Iris: Then a week later, this is terrible, but there was one for ALS but they had a really good DJ and my son and I were walking by so we crashed that one. We crashed an ALS fundraiser, had a great time. I'm just saying it was just ... Again, I cry every time I walk through these things because then you see all these people coming together for a cause. I wish that when everybody is united around certain values, then that's really powerful.

Iris: It's tragic that this country is so big and has such natural resources and so much space. People don't realize how blessed this country is. That's why people don't understand Israel. I tell people, "Imagine living in a country the size of a TJ Maxx." You know what I mean? They're like, "Oh, now I get it." People don't get it. Literally you drive 20 minutes and you hit a border.

Ilana: Do you have any experiences that you feel like are really emblematic of Israel?

Iris: Traveling through Asia is a big Israeli experience. Israelis travel, again, part of it because Israel is so small, everyone tries to get out in every juncture. I mean, I can recognize an Israeli besides the fact that all Israeli men lose their hair by age 10.

Ilana: Awe.

Iris: They're all bald. It's insane. They all have shaved heads. You walk in and it's like a billiard convention.

Ilana: Is that why they shave heads?

Iris: I can spot an Israeli from a mile away. This is a funny story. I was with my mom driving through Tuscany. This is many years ago. I was driving the rental car. There was a car ahead of us. There's a guy there with his hand out the window and I said to my mom, "Those guys are Israeli." I can tell. The way his hand is placed on the window and his shaved head, the way he's holding his hand, this guy is Israeli. They pulled over and I pulled over after them and they came out of the car and started talking Hebrew. My mom was like, "She knew. She knew you're Israeli. She knew." She's screaming at them. Okay. Just relax. Chill out. Anyway, that's just a little anecdote there.

Ilana: What question do you wish some journalists would ask you?

Iris: What I want for Christmas?

Ilana: What do you want for Christmas?

Iris: A hug. I just want a better hair day. I think in micro. I don't think macro. Look at my hair. I look like I got electrocuted so I'm going to go fix my hair. Get my eyebrows done because I look like a Muppet. Then go from there.

Ilana: I think you're being a little overly judgmental but I guess,

Iris: Thank you.

Ilana: ... That's what people do.

Iris: That's the way it should be. Can I say goodbye to you, Ilana, first?

Ilana: Yes, please.

Iris: Can I say goodbye to you as well? You were delightful.

Ilana: Oh, everybody.

Iris: You were delightful.

Ilana: Wonderful. You, too. Hugs to all of you from across the interwebs.

Iris: Thank you. We all need it. I think everybody needs a hug to be honest right now. Everybody could use a hug.

Ilana: Maybe that would just solve everything. Goodbye.

Benyamin: Our Friend from Israel is a production of Fromthegrapevine.com. Our show is produced by Paul Kasko. Editorial help from Jamie Bender and Ilana Strauss. Our head engineer is Everett Adams. Our theme music is by Haim Mazar, a Hollywood film composer who grew up in Israel.

You can visit our website at Fromthegrapevine.com to find more episodes of the show. Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcast app. Feel free to leave us a review. When you do, it helps others discover Our Friend from Israel. I'm your host, Benyamin Cohen, and until next time. We hope you have a great week.

MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE:

Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows

Related Topics: TV

Episode 9: Iris Bahr, comedian and actress
She's appeared on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' written bestselling books and now faces her toughest gig yet: appearing as a guest on our show.