Baby, Let’s Cruise Away From Here and Celebrate Whatever the Hell ‘Cha-nookah’ Is With Smokey Robinson

 Smokey Robinson attends Shinola x Smokey Robinson: Great American Series Celebration at Shinola LA on January 23, 2020, in Los Angeles, California.
Smokey Robinson attends Shinola x Smokey Robinson: Great American Series Celebration at Shinola LA on January 23, 2020, in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Andrew Toth for Shinola (Getty Images)

First of all, let me start off by saying that Smokey Robinson is a national treasure: A gem that must be protected at all costs. He’s our mama’s and mama’s mama and play-auntie’s favorite singer, so there will be no slanderous Smokey talk in this piece. However, because Smokey is currently trending, I have no choice to address the elephant—or rather the “cha-nookah”—in the room.

I’ll explain.

You see, a Twitter user by the name of Jeff Jacobson posted a Cameo video from the Motown legend that he and his brother purchased as a Chanukah gift for their mother. Apparently, Jacobson’s mother lived on the same street as Smokey back in the day in Detroit and like a good son, Jacobson thought it would be cute to reunite them. Things were going pretty good in the beginning, but it wasn’t until the 27-second mark when things turned unintentionally endearing. The “Cruisin’” singer-songwriter adorably albeit mistakenly mispronounced the holiday Chanukah (a more traditional way of spelling Hanukkah), instead calling the eight-day celebration “Cha-nookah,” not once but four times in the video. Yes, that’s right: “Cha-nookah.” See for yourself.


But anyway, you’re living in Vancouver now and they wanted me to wish you ‘happy Chanukah.’ 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.


Now, no shade to Chanukah at all here (because we respect all religious affiliations and holidays ‘round these parks), but me, personally—I would like to start a petition to celebrate Cha-nookah in 2021 in addition to Chanukah from this point on. I don’t know what activities we’d engage in or even if a menorah would or should be involved, but I’m willing to volunteer on the Cha-nookah Committee as long we put Smokey in charge of the music. It’s only right, right?

Since we’re planning, we should probably also talk about the menu and dress code. I’m thinking we should stay somewhere between (baby shower staples) Lil’ Smokies, “Ooh Baby, Baby” quiches, and sufganiyot. (The latter is a Jewish jelly doughnut, for those who may be unaware.) That should suffice. And as far as dress code goes, we should probably stick to our Sabbath best. You can usually never go wrong with that. Unless, of course, any of you plan on wearing those big hats that block other folk’s blessings—in which case, I will politely ask you to sit in the back upon your arrival. Hmm. This is all getting to be a bit much. I need to deliberate amongst the other members of the committee. Let’s circle back to this conversation around this time next year, shall we?


And before I forget, Happy Chanukah!

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The hate I’ve seen is so ridiculous. I’m sure he knows what Chanukah is, he just wasn’t familiar with that spelling. He probably feels pretty badly about it, and it all could’ve been avoided if the dude who sent the request had just used the more common spelling.