Happy Cha…What They Said

Seems like my sister is in good company. Smokey Robinson doesn’t know what Chanuka is, either.

The clip starts off relatively normal with a very charming Robinson greeting Jacobson’s mother. “Hey Margo!” he says with a big grin. “They told me that you used to live in Detroit across the street from me. Gosh, that’s beautiful. How you doin’ again? Nice talking to you again, I guess!” Dressed in a bright pink shirt and with his usual sparkling eyes, the Motown singer is radiating nothing but good vibes.
That’s when Robinson becomes confused by the written prompt Jacobson sent him, which typically requests what the celebrity should say in the video. “You’re living in Vancouver now and they wanted me to with you a happy Chanukah,” says Robinson. “I have no idea what Chanukah is, but happy Chanukah because they said so! Anyway, god bless you, babe, and enjoy Chanukah. Have a wonderful time.”
To be fair, it seems like Robinson is unfamiliar with the variety of ways in which Hanukkah can be spelled. The original Hebrew word is most commonly translated to English as Hanukkah (the preferred choice of Merriam-Webster due to the spelling) or Chanukah (another preferred choice based on pronunciation). Other variations include Ḥanukah, Chanuka, and Hanuka. They’re all pronounced the same way, but Robinson mistakenly pronounces Jacobson’s traditional spelling of Chanukah as “Chuh-nuu-kuhh”. It’s as jarring as hearing someone say “Chuh-rice-t-mus” instead of Christmas.

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