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Jim Strachan <[log in to unmask]>
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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 27 Feb 1998 20:47:06 -0800
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well, here i go snagging from the web again, but since the last message was 
abt Henny...i thought i'd add some findings that you all might whatever...
Rabbi to God: `Take Henny  please'
NEW YORK (AP)  "Dear God, take Henny  please," the rabbi said Friday at the
funeral for Henny Youngman, which was rich with rimshot humor. 
With Alan King, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Larry Storch and Soupy Sales
among the mourners, Rabbi Noach Valley followed solemn prayers with vintage
gags from the King of One-Liners. 
An overflow crowd of more than 200 mourners could pick up a pamphlet of
Youngman's insults at the door along with condolence books. 
The comedian whose signature line was "Take my wife, please" died Tuesday
at 91 of complications of the flu. 
The rabbi recalled Youngman told him from a hospital bed with a broken hip
two years ago: "The doctors are a bunch of crooks  they all wore masks. 
"One doctor was OK. If you can't afford the operation he touches up the
Tenor Robert Merrill sang God Bless America. In the hush as the last note
faded, Irwin Corey piped up: "In the name of Gene Baylos, I pledge $5!" 
Corey and Baylos were colleagues of Youngman's in an era when comics made
careers in the Borscht Belt and swapped gags at the Friars Club. 
Writer Tony Hiss recalled Youngman at the ballet, watching the ballerinas
glide in on their toes and calling out: "Why didn't they just hire taller
Hiss, who wrote a profile of Youngman for the New Yorker magazine, said he
heard him fire off 80 jokes in 15 minutes. Calculating the number of dates
Youngman played and the size of his audiences over a 67-year career, he
figured Youngman gave the world 3.25 billion laughs. 
"What a legacy. And that's not counting his work in elevators," Hiss
Alan King remembered: "For 50 years I would watch Henny come in to lunch
(at the Friars Club) and say to the maitre d': `I want a table near a
"And every day for 50 years I would say to myself: `You're not going to
"And every day for 50 years...I laughed." 
King also quoted from Youngman's gag last will, which included this
bequest: "To his attorneys, Goldberg, Goldberg, Goldberg and Goldberg, who
sent him a bill for $3,000, he leaves $750  he only dealt with one
Youngman had the last word. At the chapel entrance were copies of 101 Insults,
subtitled 101 Ways to Lose Friends and Maybe Get a Broken Nose. 
Sample: "He was born on April 2  a day too late."