The celebrity-messaging app Cameo has produced many memorable clips, but Smokey Robinson’s awkward Chanukah wishes to a childhood neighbor might just take the cake.
In a recent video, the 80-year-old star of Motown reached out to Twitter user Jeff Jacobson’s mother to wish her a happy Chanukah.
Unfortunately, Robinson wasn’t completely sure how to pronounce the holiday, and so took a pretty big swing.
— Jeff Jacobson (@jeffjacobson) December 13, 2020
The video of Robinson quickly went viral on Twitter.
People loved how charmingly Robinson wished the Jacobson family a happy “cha-noo-ka” despite not knowing what that was.
By the way, @smokeyrobinson can pronounce it any way he damn well pleases. He is a true legend whose music has been with me since birth. His kindness and generosity of spirit has already made this most-unusual 2020 Chanukah one of my family’s most memorable. Also, my mom says hi.
— Jeff Jacobson (@jeffjacobson) December 14, 2020
Aww this was actually beyond super cute , he looks incredibly good and my mom would be over the moon of I paid ( which I wouldn’t, I’m too cheap) for Smokey Robinson to wish her a Happy Chanukah , in fact from now on I’m going to call it chanookah 🙈😂.
— G Edelstein (@JewGEdelstein) December 14, 2020
Dude looks fantastic for his age. It is a nice gesture regardless. What a good guy. I've always liked him!
— VDB (@vasman132) December 14, 2020
The word חנוכה is transliterated from the Hebrew alphabet—or Ktav Ashuri—so some 20+ spellings are used with the most common being Hanukkah, Channukah and Chanukah.
Many thought the video was even better than it might have been if Robinson had pronounced the holiday correctly.
This is quite different from just not getting what you paid for. This video is WONDERFUL. It’s warm, personal, sincere, and unintentionally funny and will make a wonderful gift. It’s like how coins with an error on them are worth more than their face value.
— Caroline Under Water (@Hashtag_Paris) December 14, 2020
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) December 14, 2020
As much as anyone might make fun of this, it teaches something great.
Smokey gives well-wishes despite not knowing the holiday.
Isn't that exactly the behavior we all want?
A default setting to acceptance and goodwill even when we don't understand.
— David Glow (@criticallearner) December 14, 2020
Smokey Robinson has only cemented his status as a legend with this video.
I am screaming
— Katie Nolan (@katienolan) December 15, 2020
Many ways to spell Hanukkah, some more familiar than others. The point is @smokeyrobinson is such a kind soul he wished your Mom all the best even though he did not get #Chanukka More of that. What the World Needs Now Is Love. Happy #Hanukkah, however you spell it.
— Dr. Ann Rees (@ann_rees) December 14, 2020
He seems like a really nice man. It's adorable… It's even more gold that he mispronounced Chanukah.
— Angela Belcamino (@AngelaBelcamino) December 14, 2020
There are several ways to spell Chanukah, so Robinson’s mistake is easy to understand.
More value than you could have ever expected! And happy Hanukkah to all!
— Carol Roth (@caroljsroth) December 14, 2020
In Canada it's pronounced Canucka
— Blue Domingo (@Blue__Domingo) December 14, 2020
— Stanley Roberts (@StanleyRoberts) December 14, 2020
Robinson himself even reached out to Jacobson’s viral tweet to ask for a do-over!
The way Smokey Robinson pronounces “Chanukah” and says he has no idea what it is pic.twitter.com/DkkbXWoOxH
— Your Inner Thoughts (@haptodysphoric) December 14, 2020
in the spirit of 2020, I'm gonna need a do-over! Please DM me your mother's phone number so we can try this again
— Smokey Robinson (@smokeyrobinson) December 15, 2020
Don’t worry, Mr. Robinson, you remain a star in all of our hearts.