TAKING JEWISH AMERICAN POPULAR CULTURE SERIOUSLY: THE YINGLISH WORLDS OF GERTRUDE BERG, MILTON BERLE AND MICKEY KATZ

Abstract
Explores the popularity of Gertrude Berg, Milton Berle, and Mickey Katz among Jewish audiences in the 1950’s in the context of Irving Howe’s acerbic views of nostalgia in Jewish popular culture. Berg, who starred in the radio and television show ‘The Goldbergs,’ was popular because her audience identified with her portrayal of the adjustments required to achieve middle-class assimilation. Berle’s irreverent comedic style attracted Jewish American audiences because he broke away from the traditional folksy style of Jewish satire and adopted a brash style that expressed Jews’ increasing sense of security in American society. Katz, famous for ‘Yinglish’ parodies of Hit Parade songs, was popular because he mocked the majority culture that traditionally excluded the Jewish minority. [L. M. Stallbaumer]

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