Hank Shteamer, the author of an upcoming 33 1/3 book on Ween’s 1994 album Chocolate and Cheese, discovered something remarkable in the course of his research: Jesse Eisenberg, Oscar-nominated “It” boy, is, like, super into Ween. In fact, if Eisenberg himself is to be believed, the only thing he listens to other than Ween is musical theater. More to the point: The music of Ween played an instrumental part in a critical early stage of Eisenberg’s career. Meaning, if you put any credence at all in the Sliding Doors theory, Eisenberg’s critically acclaimed performance in The Social Network might never have happened if it wasn’t for Ween. Jesse explains:
Like, ten years ago I was acting on a television show [short-lived Fox series Get Real], and every week, something very, very dramatic had to happen, because it was an hour-long drama. So for one week, my character got spinal meningitis, which did not carry over from the previous week or to the subsequent week. So the guy who was my stand-in, who’s still one of my best friends, gave me this album, Chocolate and Cheese, because the second track is “Spinal Meningitis.” We were listening to it as a way to just bring some levity to the episode, which was a little overdramatic. I also thought the song was really great, and I started playing it at my mom’s house and she got pissed-off every time that song came on ‘cause she thought it was disgusting.
But the album was incredible; I’d never heard music like this before. I never really liked comedy songs, and Ween has a great way of never making specific jokes — you can’t really tell where the joke is lying. But beyond that, musically they were just fantastic. And since then, I have gotten every album that they’ve made. It’s the only band whose albums I buy.
Great work, Ween.