Chanukah, Night Two: "Stop! Hammer Time!" [Updated]

The best-known character in the story of Chanukah is Judah Maccabee,

the leader of the revolt against the Greeks and Syrians who had

outlawed the Jewish religion and defiled the temple. Maccabee was give

the nickname “The Hammer” for his Buffy the Vampire Slayer-like ability

to kick serious ass despite being heavily outnumbered. This leads me to

today’s theme, which is “Tough Guys named Hammer”.

Pictured to the left is baseball hall of famer “Hammerin'” Hank Aaron, the home run

king. In his career, he scored a whopping 755 home runs and as of this

writing holds the records for total bases, extra-base hits and RBIs.


Kirk Burrell was a kid who acted as an assistant to the owner of the

Oakland A’s. Burrell bore a resemblance to Hank Aaron, which led the

players to give him the nickname “Little Hammer”. Burrell loved

baseball and would’ve loved to have been a major league ballplayer, but

he ended up being famous — at least for a little while — as the

rapper MC Hammer. Although one might doubt his toughness, let me remind

you that it takes a tough, tough man to wear those stupid pants on

national television and not die of shame.

Another musical Hammer is Jan Hammer,

best known for making the soundtrack and theme to that quintessential

1980s show, Miami Vice. Unlike most TV shows, where the music writers

write “stock” theme music that gets used over and over again in the

show’s soundtrack, Hammer wrote a brand new score for every episode. That, along with his willingness to play keytar in public

(which by the way, I do too) makes him a badass in my book.

Those lame-o’s on any version of Law and Order and the science nerds

from any flavour of CSI have nothing on the greatest TV detective of

all time: Sledge Hammer! In this comedy that ran for a couple of years

in the late 1980s, Sledge was a cop didn’t care about those wussy

little details of police work like investigating, gathering evidence or

even yelling “Freeze!”. He cared about what really mattered: filling

perps with as many high-velocity slugs as his aim and magazine would

allow. He often talked to his gun and had an unintentionally ironic

catch phrase: “Trust me, I know what I’m doing.” This catch phrase

would later be sampled as used in the Jesus Jones song Trust Me, the opening track on their bestselling album, Doubt (you know, the one with Right Here, Right Now).

Speaking of law enforcement comedies, here’s one that’s perfect for

Chanukah: The Hebrew Hammer, a Jewish remix of “blaxploitation” movies

like Shaft and Superfly. Here’s the synopsis:

Mordechai Jefferson Carver, aka ‘The Hebrew Hammer’, is an Orthodox

stud, who goes on a mission to save Hanukkah. When Santa Claus’ evil

son Damien is pushed over the edge by his father’s liberal policies, he

does away with the Christian patriarch. Subsequently stepping into his

father’s role, Damien launches a campaign to eradicate the Jewish

Holiday. The Hammer joins forces with Esther, the gorgeous and

dangerous daughter of the world’s top Jewish leader, and his friend

Mohammed, head of the Kwanzaa Liberation Front, to topple the evil

Santa and save Hanukkah for future generations.


you’re looking for an entertaining Chanukah rental, steer clear of 

Eight Crazy Nights (it’s not one of Adam Sandler’s better ones, and I

have it on very good authority that it makes kids cry) and rent or buy The Hebrew Hammer on DVD.

For the second night of Chanukah, here are some hammer-themed gifts. First: U Can’t

Touch This by MC Hammer [4.0MB, MP3]. Feel free to put on some silly pants and do

Hammer’s trademark side-to-side shuffle as you light that menorah.

For those of you who are purists, here’s the song that U Can’t Touch This samples: Super Freak by Rick James [3.1MB, MP3].

And finally, here’s a link to the Theme from “The Hebrew Hammer” [2.4MB, MP3].

Update: I watched a fair bit of professional wrestling back when I was in high school, back when characters like Randy “Macho Man” Savage, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Andre the Giant ruled the ring. That’s why I felt some shame when MacDara Conroy pointed out in the comments that I neglected to mention a certain John Anthony Wisniski Jr., better known to wrestling fans everywhere as Greg “The Hammer” Valentine,

whose signature moves included the figure 4 leglock, a number of

awesome suplexes, “The Bionic Elbow” and his namesake, an elbow drop

called “The Hammer”.

Update: D’oh! Eldon emailed me, telling me that I’d missed the toughest of the fictional detectives called “Hammer”, and it was his real name, not a nickname — Mike Hammer, the creation of Mickey Spillane. Most of us remember the Stacy Keach version of the hardest of the hard-boiled private detectives (pictured here).

6 replies on “Chanukah, Night Two: "Stop! Hammer Time!" [Updated]”

D’oh! And I watched a lot of wrestling back in high school too. I’d best fix that oversight.

not sure how many care, but Mark Blount, the Boston Celtics Center is nicked named the hammer. Although in reality he is a pretty soft 7 footer who plays mostly like a small guy (guard) and definitely does not get in and bang hard enough to deserve the honour of such a cool alias.

I was beginning to think I’d halucinated Sledge Hammer. I used to occasionally say, “Trust me, I know what I’m doing,” in my best Sledge voice, but it always brought blank stares. I should have known you watched it too!

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