Allan Sherman: The Original Weird Al Yankovic: Next on TVC

We’ll remember the life and career of comedian Allan Sherman  on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, Friday at 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio.

For twelve glorious months culminating in the year 1963, Allan Sherman was the hottest act in the country, performing at the Hollywood Bowl and sold-out venues across the country, guest-hosting The Tonight Show, and selling more than three million records. Sherman’s parodies of classical music and popular Broadway songs (including his most famous piece, “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah,” a song about a boy at summer camp, set to “Dance of the Hours”) won him such fans as Harpo Marx, Frank Sinatra, FCC chairman Newton Minow and President John F. Kennedy, while his brand of humor would later influence such comedians as Larry David, Adam Sandler, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jerry Seinfeld and Weird Al Yankovic.

Sherman’s influence on popular culture extends beyond his work as a satirist. He discovered Bill Cosby and created the long-running game show I’ve Got a Secret, while the lyrics of his songs provided a turning point in Jewish American cultural history. Yet Sherman himself was unable to sustain his success. We’ll explore the reasons why in our second hour along with our guest, Mark Cohen. Mark’s book Overweight Sensation: The Life and Comedy of Allan Sherman not only provides the back story of Sherman’s music, but discusses Sherman’s fractured upbringing and often fractious relationship with network television, while also including commentary from many friends, family members and admirers of this hugely creative artist.

Mark Cohen will be appearing in many cities across the country beginning in November and continuing into early 2014, including Detroit, Ann Arbor, St. Louis, Boston, New York, Berkeley, Toledo, OH and St. Paul, MN. For more information, go to

Also this week: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen with an expanded look at This Week in TV History that will celebrate Johnny Carson’s birthday as well as discuss the network history of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

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