Sunday, September 15, 2013

Jewish Parody Gets a Boost as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Proclaims Allan Sherman Day


Jewish parody got a big boost on August 28 when Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a formal proclamation designating August 31 as Allan Sherman Day.

Over the last few years we've been posting some of Sherman's clever parodies of songs that were popular in the 1960s, especially since Mark Cohen wrote the definitive biography of the pudgy parodist, Overweight Sensation: The Life and Comedy of Allan Sherman.

The proclamation cited Sherman's connections to Chicago (he was born and raised there), but focused mainly on the 50th anniversary of the release of his most popular song, Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah, a hilarious takeoff on letters written by children in summer camp.

We're glad to see Sherman get so much recognition because we think his parodies were inspired and we miss his brand of humor. He had a knack of getting to the core of Jewish life in America in the 1950s and 1960s, when Jews were trying hard to assimilate and upward mobility was the name of the game.

Emanuel's proclamation gives us a good excuse to share two of our Allan Sherman favorites, Harvey and Sheila (a takeoff on Hava Nagila) and Sarah Jackman (a takeoff on Frere Jacques). Because Sherman's shtick preceded the age of music videos, the YouTube versions are mostly audio with still photos or plain text.

There are many versions, but for Harvey and Sheila we chose the one that has translations of the many acronyms in the song, which might not be understood by post-baby boomers, Generation X and Y, and Millennials.

Enjoy!

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.)





(A tip of the kippah to Mark Cohen and Yonina Rosenbluth for bringing this news item to our attention.)