Judah Friedlander is known for sporting some pretty obtuse catchphrases on his trucker hats, but at SPiN’s “Ping Pong with the Models” charity event for Haiti, the slogan was actually appropriate: “WORLD CHAMPION.”
“I play here all the time,” Judah told us as he manned the net at the newly opened ping pong parlor, scooping out balls for the two guys rallying back and forth. We asked him how his stroke was holding him tonight, and he told us he just faced off someone who’s “not that good.”
Susan Sarandon, an investor in SPiN and the host for the evening, said, “It’s much better than I ever anticipated, I’m really happy.” Last night’s event was thrown to raise awareness of the ongoing problems in Haiti.
We asked Sarandon if there’s been enough ping pong fever in New York to keep the place consistently busy. “The club’s doing great, but even more importantly the benefit has been very successful,” she said.
Around the enormous room — which was doused in black light and peppered with not-quite-enough disco-ball glimmer to disguise the sports bar feel — were TV screens showing pictures of celebrities like Sean Penn helping to rebuild the island.
While taking a break from the action of the tables, Friedlander talked up his new book, How to Beat Up Anybody. We bonded over our frustrating experiences trying to fight three-armed men, but the world champion said it was something that we were just going to have to get used to.
“Having three arms—it’s the steroids of the future,” Friedlander said.