Although probably best known to modern audiences as the singer of "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter from Camp Granada)", Allan Sherman was a prodigious talent who started working in the entertainment industry in the late 1940s and kept going strong until his death from emphysema in 1973.In the course of his career, Sherman turned his hand to scriptwriting, creating, producing and even acting (including a turn as the voice of the Cat in the Hat in the 1971 TV adaptation of the famous Dr. Seuss book).With Albert Hague he cowrote the 1969 Broadway musical The Fig Leaves Are Falling, which is notable for two things: the Broadway debut of David Cassidy (later of The Partridge Family), and closing after only four performances. He hosted The Tonight Show on several occasions, including the night Bill Cosby made his first appearance on the show; he would later be credited as co-producer on Cosby's first three albums for Warner Bros. Records.He was also the author of several books, including the infamous comic novel The Rape of the A*P*E (American Puritan Ethic). He made his greatest impact on TV as creator of I've Got A Secret and as the producer of The Jackie Gleason Show, but it was his numerous albums of song parodies (starting with My Son, The Folk Singer in 1963) that made him a household name in the 1960s.A fair selection of his work can be found with a simple YouTube search.
Tropes present in Sherman's work:
- Anti-Christmas Song: "The Twelve Gifts of Christmas", which replaces the traditional calling birds, turtledoves, etc. with various schlocky items, including, among other things, a pair of teakwood shower clogs, an indoor plastic birdbath, and a Japanese transistor radio.
- Big Eater: Mrs. Goldfarb, in "Grow Mrs. Goldfarb", especially this one line:You had for breakfast two pounds bacon,
Three dozen eggs, one coffee cake, and
Then you had something really awful:
Four kippered herrings on a waffle,
Nine English muffins, one baked apple,
Boston cream pie, Philadelphia scrapple,
Seventeen bowls of Crispy Crunch,
Then you said, "What's for lunch?"
- Disproportionate Retribution: Streets of Miami is about a lawyer shooting his partner to death for criticizing his taste in hotels.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: The last line of "One Hippopotami":With someone you adore,
If you should find romance,
You'll pant, then pant once more
And that's! A! Pair! Of! PANTS!!
- Japanese Ranguage: Parodied at the end of "Lotsa Luck":When you buy a tape recorder of the automatic kind,
Lotsa luck, pal, lotsa luck.
If it's simplified for folks who aren't mechanically inclined,
Lotsa luck, pal, lotsa luck.
There's a small instruction booklet that's a hundred pages long,
And on page one, you get stuck.
It says, "If unsatisfactory,
You must bring this to the factory,"
But the factory's in Japan,
So rotsa ruck!
- Long List: The protagonists relatives in "Shake Hands with your Uncle Max"
- New Sound Album: 1967's Togetherness was his first album not recorded in front of a live audience. It also proved to be his final album.
- Race Lift/ Setting Update: Many of his songs take old folk songs and update them to reflect the mid-20th century American (often specifically Jewish-American) experience.
- Song Parody
- Stepford Suburbia: "Here's to the Crabgrass".
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: As heard in his parody of "The Yellow Rose of Texas" in "Shticks and Stones":I'm Melvin Rose of Texas
And my friends all call me Tex
When I lived in old New Mexico
They used to call me Mex
When I lived in old Kentucky
They called me Old Kentuck
I was born in old Shamokin
Which is why they call me Melvin Rose
- You Have to Have Jews: Given his Jewish background, Allan enjoys making all manner of Jewish references in his songs.