I’m embarrassed to admit that I never heard of Allan Sherman until now. He seems like the kind of comedian/musician I should have been all over, but no, he escaped me. Okay, that’s something of an exaggeration. I’ve definitely heard “Hello, Muddah, Hello, Faddah,” but gave no thought to who made it.
Not unlike Tom Lehrer about whom I wrote in “Comedy Isn’t Funny,” Sherman was an incredibly funny, scarily-clever lyricist and performer. Besides “Hello, Muddah, Hello, Faddah,” he’s best known for his Jewish-themed parodies of famous songs (“Seventy-Six Sol Cohens,” “Shticks and Stones,” “Everyone’s Cutting Off Noses”). He only started focusing on song parodies in the sixties. Until that time, the funny man had a very successful (and varied) career in entertainment as a comedy writer, television producer, singer, and actor. He was so successful, in fact, that he lived next door to Groucho Marx, who would regularly invite Sherman to his parties where the song parodies found their first audience.
Though Allan Sherman is no longer with us, his recordings and some rare videos of his television appearances abound on the internet. Enjoy!