Thursday, June 6, 2013
Alan King (1927-2004) was synonymous with classic Jewish comedy during his career which lasted about 50 years starting in 1955. He had roles in many movies, but we remember him most vividly for his stand-up comedy routines in the Catskills and on television.
King began his comedy career with one-liner routines and other material concerning mothers-in-law and Jews. King's style of comedy changed when he saw Danny Thomas performing in the early 1950s. He realized that Thomas was talking to his audience, not at them, and was getting a better response. King changed his own style from one-liners to a more conversational style that used everyday life for humor. His comedy inspired other comedians such as Joan Rivers, Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, Billy Crystal, Robert Klein, and Bill Cosby.
In this video clip from 1967, which just appeared on the internet yesterday, Alan King tells stories about his family, notably the time when he had the challenge of rounding up his parents' children and grandchildren (all 42 of them) for a 49th anniversary Sunday dinner in their 2 and a half room apartment.
(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.)