Allan Sherman was the Larry David, the Adam Sandler, the Sacha Baron Cohen of 1963. He led Jewish humor and sensibilities out of ethnic enclaves and into the American mainstream with explosively funny parodies of classic songs that won Sherman extraordinary success and acclaim across the board, from Harpo Marx to President Kennedy. In Overweight Sensation, Mark Cohen argues persuasively for Sherman’s legacy as a touchstone of postwar humor and a turning point in Jewish American cultural history. With exclusive access to Allan Sherman’s estate, Cohen has written the first biography of the manic, bacchanalian, and hugely creative artist who sold three million albums in just twelve months, yet died in obscurity a decade later at the age of forty-nine. Comprehensive, dramatic, stylish, and tragic, Overweight Sensation is destined to become the definitive Sherman biography.
|Publisher:||Brandeis University Press|
|Series:||Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture, and Life|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
MARK COHEN is a writer, editor, and journalist specializing in American Jewish culture. His previous books include Missing a Beat: The Rants and Regrets of Seymour Krim, and Last Century of a Sephardic Community. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Overweight Sensation • Introduction: Humpty Dumpty • Witz-Krieg! • College in Sex Acts (Printer's Error) • I've Got a Secret • There Is Nothing Like a Lox • Ollavood! • My Son, the Folk Singer • My Son, the Celebrity • My Son, the Nut • Allan in Wonderland • Peyton Place, U.S.A. • Oddball • Hallowed Be Thy Game • Hail to Thee, Fat Person • Acknowledgments • Appendix: "Goldeneh Moments from Broadway" and Other Parody Song Lyrics • Notes • Bibliography • Index
What People are Saying About This
“Allan Sherman was the original. . . . Before Forbidden Broadway, before Weird Al Yankovic, there was Allan Shermanbrilliant wit, satirist beyond compare, and stand-up comic with a melody.”
“At last, the first biography of Allan Shermanthe father of modern song parody, an inspired lyricist who turned phrases worthy of Cole Porter and skewered the soft spots of our culture with deadly accuracy. . . . Mark Cohen has devoted years of research to Sherman’s too-short life, in which he succeeded and failed, loved and lost, and ate and drank on the very grandest of scales.”
“I love Allan Sherman’s work. Allan was funny and clever, and he touched my heart. He was more than just a writer of song parodies. He was an extraordinarily gifted word-weaving rhymester, and this is a definitive look at this talented, complicated, conflicted little munchkin!”
“Allan Sherman is one of my biggest inspirations and all-time musical heroes. If Mark Cohen were to do a biography special on him . . . well, by golly, I’d watch it. Maybe even twice!”
“Allan Sherman was instrumental in helping me with my career.”
“A passionately written story of quite nearly tragic proportions...We are all in Cohen's debt.”