There are names that get lost in the bane of history, people who were successful in their day but are fading away in this modern world. One of these comics is Shelley Berman.
This writer, actor, poet and comic started his career in Chicago with the Compass Player which eventually became The Second City. It was there where he started doing a telephone bit which looked very much like something Bob Newhart eventually stole/perfected.
This intellectual comic recorded a trio of seminal LPs Inside Shelley Berman, Outside Shelley Berman and The Edge of Shellet Berman. These recording were on the jazz label Verve. Today, he works in both television and film and had a role in Don’t Mess with the Zohan.
He is known for saying:
“As a culture, I see us as presently deprived of subtleties. The music is loud, the anger is elevated, sex seems lacking in sweetness and privacy.”
“My whole act is confession.”
“The old problems — love, money, security, status, health, etc. — are still here to plague us or please us.”