Monroe Silver: Most Popular of the “Cohens”

December 21 was the birthday of comic monologist, actor, and singer Monroe Silver (1875-1947). Silver made his fame primarily as a Jewish dialect comedian on record albums, adapting Joe Hayman’s 1913 “Cohen on the Telephone” routine with such great success that others, in turn, copied him. Silver’s version of “Cohen on the Telephone” came out in 1914. He followed it up with “Cohen Gets Married” (1918), “Cohen on His Honeymoon” (1918), “Cohen at the Picnic” (1919), “Cohen at the Movies” (1919), “Cohen Talks About the Ladies” (1919),  “Cohen Takes His Friend to the Opera” (1921), “Cohen’s Troubles” (1925), “Jack, the Plumber” (1925), and “Cohen in Politics” (1928). In 1923 he made a DeForest Phonofilm version of the routine called “Monroe Silver, Famed Monologist”, allowing movie audiences to see him as well as hear him for the first time.

With sometime partner Billy Murray, Silver recorded such routines as “Ike and Mike in Camp” (1918),”Irish Home Sweet Home” (1921), “I Ate the Boloney” (1926), “Oh How We Love Our Alma Mater” (1927),  “Mike and Ike” (1928), and “Casey and Cohen in the Army” (1943).

From 1925 through 1935 Silver was a regular on the Goodrich Silvertown Orchestra radio program.

To learn more about vaudeville consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous