Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Jose Jimenez Revisited: How a Jewish Comedian Became a Bolivian Santa Claus Instructor


Last week we wrote about Bill Dana, the comedian who brought laughter to so many viewers while appearing on TV shows with Ed Sullivan, Milton Berle, Steve Allen, Danny Thomas, Imogene Coca, and Martha Raye.
 
We had a good reaction to the post and requests for more like it, so here's a follow-up. How did a Jewish comedian come up with the idea to invent a Bolivian character who spoke with a Spanish-like accent? 

We found the answer on YouTube. Before he gained fame as the reluctant astronaut in his most frequent role on TV and records, Dana was head writer for the Steve Allen Show. In 1959 he debuted the Jose Jimenez character in a skit as a sidewalk instructor teaching new Santa Claus recruits how to say "Jo Jo Jo" (Ho Ho Ho.)

In an interview 52 years later, Bill Dana revealed the origin of the Jose Jimenez character and explained the nuances of his accent.

Here's the Santa Claus instructor clip followed by the interview.

Enjoy!

(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.)