Kibbitzing at Kohn’s with the Sklar Brothers

Randy and Jason Sklar talk with Lenny Kohn at the counter of Kohn’s Kosher Deli and Market last week. The twin comics, who are natives of St. Louis, sat down to talk about growing up at B’nai Amoona, celebrating Hanukkah, and their latest projects. Photo: James Griesedieck


After taking a bite from his latke at Kohn’s Kosher Deli and Market, comedian Randy Sklar  explained his ideal potato pancake: “Like a good Oscar-worthy movie — dark around the edges.”

“And,” added his twin, Jason, “surprising — at parts.”

“And starring Dame Judi Dench,” Randy said.

The twins, former hosts of the ESPN show “Cheap Seats” and guest stars on shows including “Entourage” and “Better Call Saul,” stopped at the Creve Coeur restaurant before the second night of Hanukkah and the first of a four-night stand at Helium Comedy Club at the St. Louis Galleria.


The St. Louis natives had not altered their plans to ensure that they were back in their hometown for the Jewish holiday. It just worked out that way. Some fans might call it a Hanukkah miracle. 

Regardless, the Sklars appeared to enjoy the festival of lights.

“Hanukkah was great” while they were growing up, Randy said. 

“We weren’t one of those Jewish families that celebrated Hanukkah and a little bit of Christmas, too,” he said. “It was only Hanukkah.” 

Jason, after asking whether he could double-dip in the sour cream, recalled: “It was a lot of socks, like Day 4, 5 and 6. As a kid, I didn’t understand. Oh, another pair of socks. Now as parents, where you have to give your kids presents …”

“Your creativity on Day 6,” Randy joked, “is like, why did the oil have to last this long?” 

Randy and Jason, 45, live in the Los Angeles area, and they each have two children. The Parkway North High School graduates try to make it back to St. Louis at least once each year.

They said they planned to record 10 minutes worth of comedy while home and then release it with segments from nine other cities they visited as part of an audiobook on and later on a comedy album called “Finding the Funny.”

Lenny Kohn, one of the owners of the deli, wanted to ensure that the brothers had enough to eat. He brought them a plate of sufganiyot and then explained the backstory.

“You’re supposed to have fried food for Hanukkah, so here are some jelly donuts, sufganiyot,” he said.

“Just how the Maccabees enjoyed them, right?” Randy said.

“That’s it,” Kohn said. “That’s why they’re not alive anymore. A little too much fried food.”

Jason laughed: “The Syrian-Greeks couldn’t take them down, but the fried food got them.”

As they continued to eat and digest their food, the brothers talked about their latest project: a documentary about poop. 

About poop? 

“It’s a very real and honest discussion about this subject,” Randy said. “Everyone does it. No one talks about it.” 

Jason said, “People define themselves by their relationship to it,  and yet it’s not something we talk about openly.”

The documentary — “Poop Talk” — features scientists, historians, psychologists and comedians such as Rob Corddry, Eric Stonestreet, Aisha Tyler, Lauren Weedman and Jonah Ray. 

“We like to say that we didn’t really want to make this movie, but it had to come out,” Jason said while eating some of Kohn’s pastrami. “You can’t hold a movie like that in because then it makes you sick.”

During their stand-up, the brothers, who grew up at Congregation B’nai Amoona, delve into fatherhood, world affairs and President Donald Trump.

“I know it’s touchy material, so we’re going to test those waters and see” how it goes in St. Louis, Randy said. “I think if they are coming out to a comedy club, there’s a sense of humor about it, and hopefully they will understand.”

“If not,” Jason said, “we’ll get into it.”

The brothers reminisced about being back at Kohn’s, blocks away from the Jewish Community Center, the former Strike ’N Spare Lanes and their grandmother’s apartment. They also recalled participating in the Walk With Israel, while growing up — an annual event sponsored by the Jewish Federation in the 1970s and 80s.

“That was a great event,” Randy said. “Four thousand Jews just walking down the street blocking traffic, wearing ‘Walk With Israel’ T-shirts. And we wonder why the world hates us?”

“Right there,” Jason said. “Start with the Walk With Israel.” 

Kohn still must have been worried that the brothers hadn’t had enough to eat because he then brought them some upside-down chocolate cupcakes. 

“You know what I say to all this?” Randy asked. “Dayenu.”