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 Henny Youngman

Henny Youngman

Birth
Liverpool, Metropolitan Borough of Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Death 24 Feb 1998 (aged 91)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Glendale, Queens County, New York, USA
Plot 2-9-9-45-1
Memorial ID 2623 · View Source
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Comedian. Born Henry Yungman, the son of Olga Chetkin and Yonkel Yungman, Russian immigrants, in London. At six months, he and his parents moved to Brooklyn. As a child, he was pushed into violin lessons by his father; he was not a good student. He attended Manual Training High School for two years, and Brooklyn Vocational Trade School, to become a printer. He succeeded at neither. He often played hooky to spend time in theatres. His stage debut at sixteen was interrupted by his father who had no idea he was performing until informed of it, and then had his son thrown off the stage. At 18, he fronted a band, Hen Youngman and the Swanee Syncopators, but while working in a club where the comedy team booked for that night, didn't show up, the manager asked him to go on, and he was a hit. Then followed years of touring through the Borscht Belt of east coast clubs and resorts. His routine of an unending patter of quick gags earned him the attention of columnist Walter Winchell, who dubbed him "King of the One Liners.” His big break followed in 1937, a two-year run on Kate Smith's radio show. He made his first feature film, “A Wave, a WAC, and a Marine” in 1944. Other films included “You Can't Run Away From It” (1956), “Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood” and “Silent Movie” (1976), “History of the World: Part I (1981), and “Goodfellas” (1990), but his forte was always the rapid fire jokes from center stage, using his violin to punctuate punch lines. In 1974, when a service called Dial-a-Joke was introduced in the New York area, Youngman was its first featured comedian. In the first month, over 3 million people called to hear a 30 second routine; the most calls received for any comic in the service's history. In 1977, “The New Yorker” magazine reported that he was ''the world's hardest-working comedian,'' estimating that he traveled up to half million miles, and appeared in more than 100 nightclubs, colleges, synagogues, banquets, cruises, and television variety shows each year. Throughout his career, he wrote more than a score of joke books including “400 Traveling Salesman's Jokes” (1967), “Insults for Everyone” (1979), and “Best Little Book of One Liners” (1992). In 1991, he published an autobiography, ''Take My Life, Please!'' At age 91, he became ill while on a two-show-a-night tour, the illness later developed into terminal pneumonia.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2623
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Henny Youngman (16 Mar 1906–24 Feb 1998), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2623, citing Mount Carmel Cemetery, Glendale, Queens County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .