Between the Emojis: Nicki Minaj’s Response to Seth Rogen


Within minutes of me  posting Seth Rogen’s response to discovering that he was in a Nicki Minaj song, she tweeted him back, “Seth You’re My Hero!!!”

The emojis around Minaj’s calling Rogen her hero tell an interesting story about her regard for Rogen.  They can – because he likes to efface the line between his life and his comic characters – be read in terms of an ambiguous relationship between the schlemiel and the beloved that we see (time and time again) in many a schlemiel routine.  The schlemiel – as many American versions of the character tell us – is either a cuckhold or a nice guy (but not a lover).  See, for instance, this video by Lil Dicky (someone who works in the same circles of Minaj), which shows this idea is alive in 2017.

Nicki’s tweet begins with an emoji that suggests that she is laughing so hard that she is crying.  And after she says “Seth, you’re my hero!!!” she punctures with one emoji that expresses utter sadness (that this is true) and an emoji with a wink.

In other words the message to Rogen’s “losing it” (as one zine says it) is mixed.  (His tweet – as a side note – had 200,000 more likes than Minaj’s.)

The mixed message is for the schlemiel the two expressions basically say,  “Your not my real Hero” but we are friends.  I’m not really dissing you but I am.  Its the charm of the schlemiel that makes him a friend…not a lover and not a hero.  His heroism is – as Ruth Wisse says at the outset of her book The Schlemiel as Modern Hero – ironic.     The irony is that he’s not a real man.  Not one that Minaj would call a hero.  But he’s a nice man, a funny guy, she can share a laugh with and have some fun.

Playing on the spoof interview show by Zack Galifiianakis, “Between the Ferns,” I’d say that the message to the schlemiel, from one of the most desired women in the world today, is between the emojis.


I Made a Movie Like Seth Ro: Seth Rogen Gets Mentioned by Nicki Minaj


Seth Rogen’s wildest dream has come true: he’s been mentioned in a song by Nicki Minaj.  Ecstatic and feeling vindicated as a human being, he tweeted about it this morning.

Minaj – in a new Fergie video that she is featured in – “drops” the words “I made a movie like Seth Ro” at 1:39.


Watching the video and thinking about what it means, I couldn’t help but think about how “going fast” is synonymous for them with power and elitism that “you” only wish you could have.  Its ironic because a schlemiel – in a traditional sense – is often powerless.  But Seth Rogen is anything but that.  He is branding himself and is reveling in the fact that he is mentioned in this video.   The fact of the matter is that Minaj makes him the standard bearer.  She makes a movie “like” him.  Apparently, he is the master of cinema today.   Despite the fact of how laughable that is, its interesting to see how the stars support themselves and maintain their elite circles via their media.

Rogen jackpoted on this circle in his film This is the End (2013).   Every endorsement or guest spot he gets or provides is more money in his bank.   He’s a wealthy schlemiel.  A lot like Larry David but less funny.   He can say – with the most affected hip dialect – “I’M FUCKING GOOD Y’ALL” because he has been lifted up into the heavens of Hollywood and pop culture while all of us just marvel at how….cool he is.  In the end, we are the real poor schmucks/schlemiels.  Who’s got the money and power through their cool?  Ask Seth, Fergie, and Nicki.