|Born||in Brooklyn, New York, USA|
|Died||in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA|
|Nickname||The World's Foremost Authority|
Mini Bio (1)
Professor Irwin Corey, "The World's Foremost Authority," was born on July 29, 1914, in Brooklyn, New York. He and his five siblings were wards of the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum, and during the Great Depression, he worked for the Civilian Conservation Corp. Possessing brawn as well as brains, Professor Irwin Corey is proud to tell anyone who will listen that he was the C.C.C.'s boxing champ in the 112-pound weight class.
Before becoming certified (as a professor purveying the surreal), the young Irwin caught the performing bug by appearing in a borscht belt show, "Pots and Pans," in a bit part. He made his debut in a musical comedy in a U.S.O. presentation of "Oklahoma" in Europe, in which he played the part of the Arab peddler Ali Hakim.
Perfecting his crazy professor shtick, who always appeared in an old-fashioned tuxedo with tails like Groucho Marx, Corey broke through as a stand-up comic at San Francisco's "hungry i" and New York City's Copacabana and Village Vanguard nightclubs. His lectures, characterized by a constant barrage of non-sequitors and double-talk, were rooted in the word-play epitomized by Groucho Marx and Chico Marx in such classic routines as "Why a Duck?" However, whatever "logic" The Marx Brothers might display (at least in exasperated double takes by Groucho) was missing in the Professor's shtick. Before the Talking Heads ever sang about it, Professor Irwin Corey made an art form out of "Stop Making Sense."
Theater critic Kenneth Tynan said of the Professor, "[Corey is] a cultural clown, a parody of literacy, a travesty of all that our civilization holds dear and one of the funniest grotesques in America. He is Chaplin's clown with a college education."
Corey thrived on the radio, memorably appearing on Edgar Bergen's radio show as a tutor to Charlie McCarthy. Television was another natural medium for the professor, and he appeared as a regular on The Jackie Gleason Show (1952) and also made the rounds of the talk show circuit of the 1950s, '60s and '70s, appearing with 'Steve Allen', Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, Merv Griffin, and Mike Douglas. He also was on "The Ed Sullivan Show" (aka The Ed Sullivan Show (1948)) as well as appeared with the new lessor of the Ed Sullivan Theater, David Letterman.
Irwin Corey also has appeared on Broadway, in "Heaven on Earth," "Happy as Larry," "Fla-hooley," and "Mrs. McThing," as well as recent productions of "The Taming of the Shrew" and "Hamlet." Off-Broadway, he appeared as the eponymous lead in "The Good Soldier Schweik" and as Marlo Thomas' father in Herb Gardner's play "Thieves," reprising the role in the film (Thieves (1977)). He also appeared in numerous episodes of series television, including The Andy Griffith Show (1960), "Doc" (with Barnard Hughes), The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967), and Pat Paulsen's Half a Comedy Hour (1970).
The Professor's last film was Woody Allen's The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001). At 91, and still going strong, Professor Irwin Corey truly is the dean of stand-up comedians, if not quite at the head of his class.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood
|Frances Berman||(30 October 1940 - 25 May 2011) (her death) (2 children)|