Amid One-Liners and Prayers, Youngman Is Remembered

<i> Associated Press</i>

“Dear God, take Henny--please,” the rabbi said Friday at a funeral for Henny Youngman.

With Alan King, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Larry Storch and Soupy Sales among the mourners, Rabbi Noach Valley followed solemn prayers with vintage gags from the King of One-Liners.

An overflow crowd of more than 200 mourners could pick up a pamphlet of Youngman’s insults at the door along with condolence books. The comedian, whose signature line was “Take my wife--please,” died Tuesday at 91 of complications of the flu.

The rabbi recalled that Youngman told him from a hospital bed with a broken hip two years ago: “The doctors are a bunch of crooks--they all wore masks.”


Tenor Robert Merrill sang “God Bless America.” In the hush as the last note faded, Borscht Belt colleague Irwin Corey piped up: “In the name of Gene Baylos, I pledge $5!”