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Smokey Robinson's heartfelt 'Happy Cha-NOO-Kah' video to fan goes viral

"He can pronounce the name of this holiday any way he pleases," said Jeff Jacobson, who ordered the personalized video for his mother.
/ Source: TODAY

Jeff Jacobson, a talent agency owner in Vancouver, Canada, ordered his mother a Cameo video from Smokey Robinson as a Hanukkah present, but the video he received from the Motown legend took a "strange twist."

For those who are unfamiliar, Cameo is a service that allows anyone to order personalized video greetings from celebrities. The "Cruisin'" singer charges $350 to create memorable shout outs on the site.

"My mom grew up on the same street as Smokey Robinson in Detroit. So for Chanukah, I wanted to reunite them via @Cameo," Jacobson wrote on Twitter. "But the video takes a strange twist."

Robinson, 80, seems genuinely thrilled to be greeting an old neighbor in the video.

"Hey Margo! How you doing? Surprise surprise," he said. "This is Smokey Robinson. I know you didn't expect to hear from me, but I was contacted from your sons," he said. "They told me you used to live in Detroit across the street from me and gosh that's beautiful. How you doing again? Nice talking to you again, I guess."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer had a big smile as he chatted to the camera throughout the 43-second video gift for Margo, who works as a kindergarten teacher in Vancouver. But then the video took an unexpected but adorable turn when Robinson fulfilled the initial request: to wish Margo a "Happy Chanukah."

"But anyway you're living in Vancouver now and they (your sons) wanted me to wish you Happy Cha-nook-ah. I have no idea what Cha-NOO-kah is, but happy Cha-NOO-kah because they said so!" Robinson said. "Anyway, God bless you babe and enjoy Cha-NOO-kah. Have a wonderful time."

Chanukah is one of several ways to spell the Jewish holiday marking the Festival of Lights. Smokey Robinson did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but perhaps the singer is more familiar with the Hanukkah spelling.

Jacobson shared the video on Twitter, where it has been viewed more than 772,000 times as of Monday afternoon.

"My reaction was pure joy that Smokey even fulfilled the request. I mean, it’s Smokey Robinson! He has been a mainstay in my household since birth and he’s a true icon," Jacobson told TODAY in an email.

Not only that, but he said his mother Margo was "overjoyed" by the video and the reaction it's getting on social media.

"It has made this strange, more distanced and virtual Chanukah that much more special," Jacobson said. "Haven’t heard anything from Smokey and don’t expect to. He has done more than enough! He can pronounce the name of this holiday any way he pleases."