Henry “Henny” Youngman was a comedian and violinist. At a time when long stories were the norm in comedy, he made one-liners famous. Walter Winchell, a famous columnist, called him the “King of One-Liners” because he never used long jokes to make people laugh. His one-liners were very simple, and he went right to the punch line, which made people laugh so hard they doubled over. He was a hard worker who did more than 200 shows a year in nightclubs in New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Montreal, and Chicago. He also sang at meetings, cruises, banquets, special events, colleges, and other places. The popular entertainer was always looking for work, because he was from a time when it was hard to make a living as a performer. The tall, strong comedian carried around a violin from the 1800s, which he would sometimes play during his shows to add to the effect of his one-line jokes. He and Rocky Graziano had a TV show called “The Henny and Rocky Show,” and he also appeared on “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In.” He was known for making his wife, Sadie, the punchline of many of his jokes. His most famous one-liner, “Take my wife, please,” was based on her.
Early years and childhood
Henny Youngman was born in England, but when he was young, his family moved to New York. Yonkel Yungman was his father’s name, but he later changed it to Jacob Youngman. The Jews were his family.
His father liked music and wanted his son to learn to play the violin, so he set up lessons for him.
For two years, he went to Manual Training High School. He was very bad at school and got kicked out of the classroom a lot.
Henny has been telling jokes to his friends and family since he was a child. He would often hear jokes at the movies and tell them to his friends in his own way.
He spent a lot of time at vaudeville theaters instead of studying, and his first time on stage was at a street theater. When his father found out, he kicked him off the stage.
After this happened, his father sent him to Brooklyn Vocational Trade School so he could learn how to print.
Henny Youngman’s Career
He got a job at a print shop, where he started writing and printing joke cards called “comedy cards.” Milton Berle, who also wanted to be a comedian, was impressed by his cards and told him to go for it.
He started out in the entertainment business as a musician in an orchestra. He then put together a small group called the Swanee Syncopaters. He started mixing comedy and music by telling jokes to the audience in between songs.
When the regular comedy team at the Nut Club in New Jersey didn’t show up for a show and the manager was desperate to find a replacement, he got his big break. That night, Henny was a big hit.
He made up his own style of comedy, which was friendly and not offensive. He told one-line jokes in between pieces of violin music, and this won him fans for many years.
In 1937, the Kate Smith show gave him his first chance to perform on the radio. He was supposed to be on for six minutes, but he was so funny that his time was extended to ten. After this, he was a regular on the show.
In 1944, he made his first movie, “A Wave and a WAC and a Marine.” He didn’t have much success in Hollywood, so he went back to nightclubs.
He was well-known as a stand-up comedian, and his radio shows made him even better known. He loved making money and was always looking for work.
He would go to different cities in the U.S. and Canada, sometimes traveling more than 500,000 miles and putting on more than 200 shows a year.
He was one of the hosts of “The Henny and Rocky Show,” a TV show that first aired in 1955.
In 1959, he recorded a live album at the Celebrity Club in St. Louis with producer Danny Shapiro for the National Recording Corporation.
The New York Telephone Company began its Dial-a-Joke service in 1974. In less than a month, more than three million people called to hear 30 seconds of his jokes.
Youngman made a lot of TV appearances. He was on “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In” for a long time. He also had small roles in several movies, called “cameos.”
He spent all of his time on his work and never stopped. He was still performing up until the day he died, and even on his deathbed, he was still funny.
Works of note
He was a comedian whose non-offensive, funny one-liners interrupted by violin music became his trademark and made him famous. “Take my wife, please!” was his most famous one-liner, which became a classic.
Personal History and Legacies
In 1928, he married Sadie Cohen, and the two of them had two children. The marriage was full of love and lasted until Sadie died in 1987.
In 1998, when he was 91, he died of pneumonia.
Estimated Net worth
Henny is one of the most popular and wealthiest comedians. Based on what we know and what Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider say, Henny Youngman is worth about $15 million.
Over the course of more than seven decades, he had a long and successful career.
He wrote a book about himself called “Take My Life, Please!”