Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Anyone who was tuned in to Jewish comedy in the 1950s was tuned in to the hilarious Yiddish song parodies of Mickey Katz. During that era Katz released dozens of songs that made fun of most of the pop songs that deserved to be made fun of.
Hernando's Hideaway became Hermendel's Koch-Alein, Cry of the Wild Goose became Geshray of De Vilde Kotchke, Ghost Riders in the Sky became Borscht Riders in the Sky, Shrimp Boats became Herring Boats, Wheel of Fortune became Shlemiel of Fortune, Doggie in the Window became Pickle in the Window, and Kiss of Fire became Kiss of Meyer. And the list went on and on.
Now, filmmaker Eric Krasner is working on a documentary to bring Katz's shtick to a wider audience and generations who, if they heard of him at all, recognize his name as the father of actor Joel Grey and the grandfather of Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey.
Contributing to the hilarity of Katz's songs was the Yiddish lyrics, which had a risque nuance that was only apparent if you had a good command of Yiddish slang. In the video below, Phil Fink, Cleveland radio host of Shalom America, reminisces about Katz's lyrics, and Peter Sokolow, also known as Klezmer Fats, takes to the piano to play and sing a few examples.
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)