Henny Youngman

Henny Youngman
Full name
Henry Youngman
Country
England

Henry "Henny" Youngman (original Russian surname Yungman) (March 16, 1906 – February 24, 1998) was a British-American comedian and violinist famous for "one-liners", short, simple jokes usually delivered rapid-fire. His best known one-liner was "Take my wife—please." In a time when many comedians told elaborate anecdotes, Youngman's comedy routine consisted of telling simple one-liner jokes, occasionally with interludes of violin playing. These gags depicted simple, cartoon-like situations, eliminating lengthy build-ups and going straight to the punch line. He was known as the King of the One Liners, a title bestowed upon him by columnist Walter Winchell. A typical stage performance by Youngman lasted only fifteen to twenty minutes, but contained dozens of jokes, delivered in rapid-fire fashion. Youngman was born to a Jewish family in Liverpool, England, and his family moved to Brooklyn, New York, when he was young. He grew up in New York City, and his career as a comedian began after he had worked for a number of years at a print shop, where he penned and published a large number of "comedy cards"—cards containing one-line gags that were sold at the shop. The comedy cards were discovered by up-and-coming professional comedian Milton Berle, who encouraged Youngman and formed a close working friendship with him. Berle quipped about his friend, "The only thing funnier than Henny's jokes is his violin playing."