The Comedy Guys like to recognize the birthdays of the greats of comedy, and March 16 is the birthday of two famous American comedians, king of the one-liners Henny Youngman and madcap “King of Comedy” Jerry Lewis.
Henny Youngman, comedian and violinist, was born in England in 1906 and relocated to New York City with his family while still very young. One night at a club where he was appearing with his jazz band, he was asked to fill in when the regular comedian didn’t show up. His comedy style was rapid-fire but inoffensive, delivering one laugh after another like a comedy machine gun. Younger comics Mitch Hedberg and Larry the Cable Guy have both cited Youngman as influencing their style.
Here you can see him on John Byner‘s television show BIZARRE in the late 1980s, doing what he did best.
Youngman died in February 1998.
Jerry Lewis, born in 1926, became half of the famous comedy team of Martin and Lewis when he was only twenty years old, and he hasn’t stopped since. He is best known for his slapstick humor and literally playing the fool in films and on television, nightclub stages, and radio. In this clip you can see his surprise reunion with Dean Martin.
You might recognize the guy who arranges the reunion, too.