Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cantor Shepsil Kanarek

Michael Rosenberg [1900-1972], a well known Yiddish comedian of another era, performs in-character as Shepsil Kanarek from Poughkeepsie, New York, auditioning for a cantor position for the High Holidays. Rosenberg had roles in 13 films between 1931 and 1950. Even if your understanding of Yiddish is limited, you can get a sense of this sketch. The comedic timing is perfect.



  1. Theater Yiddish was noticeably different from Standard Yiddish, being more of a compromise dialect--closer to Polish and Ukrainian Yiddish than to Litvish Yiddish. And theater Yiddish always included English words and phrases.
    The acrobatic dancer introduced as comedian Menashe Skulnik at the end of this segment didn't look like Skulnik to me. I saw Skulnik many times live on stage in the late 1940s and 1940s. I am puzzled.

    1. Others have also pointed out that this is not Menashe Skulnick at the end of the clip. It is puzzling.


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