“Allan Sherman was the original. . . . Before Forbidden Broadway, before ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, there was Allan Sherman—brilliant wit, satirist beyond compare, and stand-up comic with a melody.”
—Jason Alexander, actor and Seinfeld star
For the 50th anniversary of Allan Sherman’s Grammy Award-winning summer of 1963 hit, “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh,” the NCRTV Museum will host a free talk, “Allan Sherman: The Life, Hits, and Lost Recordings,” and book signing by the author of the first biography of America’s greatest song parodist.
In Overweight Sensation: The Life and Comedy of Allan Sherman (Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture, and Life) author Mark Cohen presents Sherman, a television producer (I’ve Got a Secret) turned song parodist, as a manic, bacchanalian, and hugely creative artist whose explosively funny parodies of classic songs marked a turning point in American cultural history.
“Sherman led Jewish humor and sensibilities out of ethnic enclaves and into the American mainstream,” said Cohen. “When his three “My Son” albums sold three million copies in just twelve months, it proved that the age of assimilation was over. A new age of ethnic pride had begun.”
The book is receiving lots of attention.
Overweight Sensation is “a remarkably well-researched, passionately written story,” wrote The Nation columnist Eric Alterman. He continued, “Allan Sherman’s story will remain a crucial episode in the annals of satire, of assimilation, of celebrity seduction.”
“Sherman did as much as anyone to bring Jews out of the American pop-culture closet. One can hope that, thanks to Cohen, his legacy is now safe.” — Josh Lambert, Tabletmag.com
“An interesting and engaging biography of a complicated man.” Lorna, Koski, Women’s Wear Daily
The free event begins at 2 pm on June 2. Q&A and book signing to follow.