Tim Herbert: Son of Timberg

Tim Herbert (Herbert Timberg, 1914-1986) had a wonderful show biz pedigree. The son of vaudeville performer and sketch/songwriter Herman Timberg, he first teamed up with Pat Rooney Jr, performing in what was left of vaudeville and nightclubs and a series of comedy shorts for Educational Pictures under the name Herman Timberg, Jr. The shorts were released in 1937 and early 1938, after which he produced and staged live stage revues for several years.

From 1944 through 1946 he played Spud Doolittle in the Broadway show Follow the Girls, with Jackie Gleason and Gertrude Niesen, using the new professional name Tim Herbert, which is what he went under thereafter. In the early ’50s he began to do spots on TV variety shows like Ed Sullivan, Arthur Murray’s Dance Party, and Dagmar’s Canteen. This led to work as a bit player, probably what he is best known for today. You can see him in episodes of The Phil Silvers Show,The Joey Bishop Shop,The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Addams Family, Batman (as a Catwoman henchman named “Whiskers”), I Dream of Jeannie, Gomer Pyle USMC, Bewitched, Get Smart, Bonanza, The Lucy Show/Here’s Lucy, The Red Skelton Hour, Ironside, The Odd Couple, Love American Style, McMillan and Wife, The Brady Bunch, The FBI, Lotsa Luck, Cannon, Sanford and Son, and Chico and the Man, et al. He also had parts in several well-known movies, including Morey Amsterdam’s Don’t Worry, We’ll Think of a Title (1966), A Guide for the Married Man (1967), The Boston Strangler (1968), They Shoot Horses Don’t They? (1969), Duel (1971), Soylent Green (1973), and Earthquake (1974), among others. His last role was in an episode of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories in 1985.

To learn more about vaudeville, please see No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, and for more on classic comedy shorts, please read Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube.