Friday, January 1, 2010

"Johnny's Yo-Yo" and "The Passion of the Pasha"...The night club routines of Ruth Wallis and Fanny Brice

My wife and I are talking about getting a babysitter and going out this weekend. Maybe to a comedy show. In that spirit, here are a couple of videos of great Jewish comedians past. The first is the legendary Fanny Brice. The second is not no so legendary, but wonderfully talented Ruth Wallis. I learned about Wallis only recently through the excellent Idelsohn Society blog. According to Wallis' son ....
"Ruth Wallis wrote words and music to 150+ songs. Her career spanned three decades and four continents. Typecast as solely a risque cabaret performer, her music was eschewed by the media and banned in Boston during the Eisenhower era. December 22nd will mark the second anniversary of my mother's passing. Since then, she's received more notice from the mainstream media than during her 30 year career. "

The attention is well deserved, though it's a shame it came so late. For more info check out the post, or her NY Times obituary. You can also grab her recent re-release album "Boobs" on Amazon or Emusic. Hysterical. I'm particularly fond of her songs "Cape Canaveral Blues" and "Marriage Jewish Style". Here's one of her songs not found on the ablum.

RUTH WALLIS Johnny had a yo-yo

Fanny BriceFanny Brice was a famous Jewish comedian, singer, and actress, who headlined the Zigfield Follies in the 20's and 30's and went on to earn both a Grammy and a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. Here are clips from Brice's night-club act, where she mixes English and Yiddish into an off-kilter faux-arabic melange.

Fanny Brice (Yinglish Patter Song)

From YouTube user YidVidz's notes.....
"Fanny Brice sings, "I'm Sacha, the Passion of the Pasha". This is a compilation of clips from all available sources. Filmed in the late 1920s, it gives us a window into Brice's celebrated nightclub routine. The incongruity of singing in a Yiddish accent the story of an Arab sheik's favorite harem-girl (Sasha? a Jewess?), replete with sexual innuendo. Several more of Brice's brilliant comedy songs can be seen in the commercially released movie Be Yourself."


Dafna Van Gent said...


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Jack said...

Dafna...thanks for the link. I'll test it out and if it works well, I'd be happy to share the link

You mention 3 links...what links do you have in mind? email me at with details. Thanks