Anybody born after about 1975 will be too young to remember the HBO ‘On Location’ comedy series. Cable TV was brand new then, and one of its unique advantages was to give a fully uncensored chance to comedians to do a full set for television audiences at home the same as they did for night clubs in Las Vegas. Some of the first to do so were Robert Klein, George Carlin and Redd Foxx. HBO also took the opportunity to film some of the only remaining footage of the classic comedians of the classic vaudeville days, bringing us comedian like Myron Cohen, Freddy Roman, and Alan King.
Yes, kiddies, there WAS comedy before Carlos Mencia and Dane Cook. Even before Carlin, Pryor, and Lenny Bruce. There was burlesque, the Catskills, music halls. Recently, the comedy world took a moment to mourn the death of George Carlin. Well, if you have listened to ALL of Carlin’s stuff, you may have noticed that he referenced HIS influences, especially Myron Cohen and Lord Buckley. If you have no idea who these people are, it’s time to update your comedy history education. Also (shameless plug), if you click my name, you will discover many of the old classic albums that led to today’s modern performers. Others have already seeded Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor. Some of this comedy has faded with the times, some is still as funny as it ever was. Here is the classic dialect comedy of a bygone age, performd by the masterful Myron Cohen.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Myron Cohen (July 1, 1902 – March 10, 1986) was an American comedian and raconteur.
He was a nightclub entertainer in the 1950s and 1960s, recording several live record albums and also frequently appearing on TV variety programs such as The Ed Sullivan Show.
Although he spoke perfect, cultured English, he was a master at capturing the ethnic accents of the Jewish citizens of New York City. In this joke, the reader must imagine two middle-aged ladies with the proper accents:
Two women, who have known each other all their lives, who are like sisters, are visiting one day. The first woman says, "I don't know how to tell you this... I'm having an affair!" The second woman asks, "So who's the caterer?"
Son walks in on Old World, traditional father, who's watching a basketball game. Son is stunned: "Dad, I didn't know you liked basketball; what's the score?" Dad replies, "78 to 62." "Who's winning?" Dad says, "78."
"We just got back from vacation, a tour of the world. Next year, we'll go someplace else."
He could also do other accents, as with this example:
A Texan, visiting New York for the first time, finds himself lost, in the Lower East Side, a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. He asks a resident, "Can y'all tell me where ah am?" The resident takes one look and says, "Brudder, you're not in Marlboro Country!"
Here is a Cohen joke from one of his 50s records: A couple is before a divorce judge. The judge says: "And so Madam, I am going to find for you that you receive 400 dollars per week for the rest of your life or until such time that you remarry." And the husband says: "You know, judge, that's so fair of you that I also shall throw in a couple of dollars."
Cohen popularized the Klopman diamond gags.