We’d say Josh Ostrovsky, a.k.a. The Fat Jew, is a man of many hats, but there isn’t one that can rest firmly atop his ridiculous “hairection.” He’s most notably an Instagram star, but he’s also a performance artist, entrepreneur, writer and, to his critics, a plagiarist. All he really wants is for people to have a good time, usually at his own expense (put some pants on, dude). We caught up with the shameless social media personality to talk about the Instagram controversy, his just-released memoir and what he wants you to do when he hosts Ghostbar’s GBDC day party on November 14. Kids, please strap up.
You’ve been called a comedian, a curator and just simply “Internet celebrity,” but what do you consider yourself?
An idiot, a Z-lister. That’s what sums it up best.
Is The Fat Jew a persona you’ve created, or is this who you really are?
I don’t go home at night and unscrew my vertical hairection ponytail and read a book like, “What a hard day being The Fat Jew.” Sometimes I’m a little bit low-key, but when I’m alone and not being overtly ridiculous, I’m probably into something weird involving Japanese squid pornography. It’s all one in the same, there’s just different sides to it. I was doing this stuff before there was social media sites to share it on. I’ve been doing crazy and stupid shit forever. It’s a full-time job not giving a fuck.
There’s been a lot of controversy about your Instagram posts. How has that impacted your career?
It was definitely a conversation that needed to be had. I wouldn’t say it’s affected it. I just want the Internet to be more awesome. It feels like everybody’s happy with it now and I’m meeting a ton of weird people that have reached out to me and been like, “Oh that’s my photo,” and I’m like, “Oh, you’re a 15-year-old from fucking Brussels. We should chill.” I’m meeting new people and doing cool shit. It was something that needed to be handled and it got handled. Now we’re back to what Instagram does best, which is putting up pictures of dogs with sunglasses and Kim Kardashian crying.
You recently had a crazy stalker making threats in Santa Monica. I’m guessing you get that a lot.
Most of the stalkers have been crazy stalker stuff that I love, you know, emotionally unstable people trying to have sex with me. That’s fun. But I’ve always said you’ve never really made it unless someone’s trying to kill you. So although that is kinda scary and definitely making me question my career choice, at the same time I also feel like I’ve made it, because someone’s trying to murder me in cold blood.
You just dropped your memoir, Money Pizza Respect. How’s the reception been?
It’s been super cool. It’s definitely a challenge getting people to read … Reading is not perceived as being turnt up and fun, but I’m trying to change that. We’re doing cool stuff. We’re throwing a series of raves where you gotta buy the book to get in. People don’t necessarily equate reading and raving but I think they go more hand-in-hand than you think. Reading is turnt up, reading is crazy. It’s underrated as being ridiculously fun.
Also, I wrote a book, so basically I’m an author. That’s pretty scary. I think the world is basically is ending. Polar ice caps are melting, I might be a best-selling author. This is probably a sign of the apocalypse.
Who’s your target audience for the book?
Just anybody who wants to read a good collection of stories. I think people will be surprised. This book has more honesty and pathos and truth and emotion in it than people think. I’ve done enough crazy shit way before social media, during it and now that I could fill an entire book with debauchery and tales of ridiculousness but I went a little more emotional with it. There’s stories about family. There’s some stuff that’s gonna hopefully make you barf from laughing so hard but I think there’s also some stuff that will make you cry one single tear down your fucking cheek.
What’s your favorite story in the book?
There’s a story about me being a child actor. I landed one or two very small commercial roles so I was on fire as far as I was concerned … I turned into an absolute raging diva monster, like, “Can someone get me some fucking chicken fingers, please?!” [I was] flipping tables and being an absolute nightmare because I basically decided that I was the shit. I wore a Nintendo Power Glove to school. Girls were feeling me. Guys were jealous. I was a raging monster and it all crashed and burned. I basically reached my peak and fizzled all in a period of 90 days.
How old were you?
Like, 10. I had a jean jacket with the collar popped and was being horrendous. It was a fast rise to fame and a hard fall.
Looks like you’re finally bouncing back. You’ve also got your White Girl Rosé brand. Do you plan on expanding into other spirits?
Not currently. I just really love rosé. We wanted to make it delicious but also cheap enough to buy two bottles and pour one of them in the shrubs because you feel like it.
There have been rosé shortages and it can be scary. A couple summers ago in the Hamptons there was a shortage. People were running through the streets and screaming and hoarding bottles in underground silos. We want to make sure there’s enough delicious cold rosé. I don’t want to live in that world where there’s not enough rosé for everyone.
What should we expect from your day party in Vegas?
Memories will be made and then people will probably get blackout drunk and those memories will be completely forgotten because that’s the absolute best. Also, I’m hoping there’s some STDs getting traded, but fun ones, not serious ones.
Such as chlamydia?
Exactly. Anything that can be taken care of with a pill and five days, I want that stuff going around.
I’m sure that’s a nightly thing already here.
Yeah, but I’m really trying to take it to the next level. I think the daytime in Vegas is underrated. That’s kind of where it’s at. I’m all about going so hard in the afternoon and being passed out by 8 o’clock. That’s my Vegas.