Danny Kaye from Brownsville

Actor/comedian Danny Kaye (David Daniel Kaminsky), a marvelous song-and-dance-and-everything man, died on this date in 1987. Kaye was born in 1911 in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, NY, to Ukrainian immigrant parents who called him “Duvidelleh.” After getting his start as a Borscht Belt entertainer, he would go on to star in seventeen movies, including The Secret […]

Read More

Mel Tolkin and “Your Show of Shows”

Mel Tolkin (Shmuel Tolchinsky), the head writer of Sid Caesar’s pioneering television comedy program, Your Show of Shows (1950-54), and its follow-up, Caesar’s Hour, was born in a shtetl near Odessa on this date in 1913. He came to Canada in 1926, moved to New York twenty years later, and teamed up with Lucille Kallen, who would become his […]

Read More

Thar’s Goldberg in Them Thar Hills!

A History of America’s Most Influential Mountains by Mikhail Horowitz From the Spring 2016 issue of Jewish Currents Discussed in this essay: The Catskills: Its History and How It Changed America, by Stephen M. Silverman and Raphael D. Silver. Alfred A. Knopf, 2015, 448 pages. BACK IN THE HALCYON DAYS of my arrested adolescence, I […]

Read More

April 21: Among the World’s Children

Danny Kaye became UNICEF’s first celebrity Ambassador-at-Large on this date in 1954, and proceeded to become an international voice for poverty relief and worldwide aid. Kaye met UNICEF’s executive director, Maurice Pate, in 1949 on a plane from London to New York that was re-routed to Ireland after it caught fire. They bonded during the fearful […]

Read More

March 3: Danny Kaye

Actor Danny Kaye (David Daniel Kaminsky), a marvelous song-and-dance-and-everything man, died on this date in 1987. Kaye starred in seventeen movies, including The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), Hans Christian Andersen (1952), and The Court Jester (1956), where he displayed his tongue-twisting abilities with this explanation of the plot: “The pellet with the poison’s […]

Read More