Monroe Silver was an American actor and singer who was also a comedian and monologist using Jewish dialect-accent performer. For various record labels, he recorded 78rpm discs of parodies like Cohen on the Telephone and Cohen Phones to His Friend Levy. Lee De Forest recorded Silver doing Cohen on the Telephone for the DeForest Phonofilm sound-on-film process. The film premiered with 17 other Phonofilm short films at the Rivoli Theater in New York City on 15 April 1923, and is now in the Maurice Zouary collection at the Library of Congress. From 1925 to 1935, Silver appeared on The Goodrich Silvertown Orchestra radio show.

With his Jewish accent, words like 'What are you doing?' came out as 'Vot arrr you doink?' Some performers like Barney Bernard and Louis Mann tried to imitate him in the early 1920s. Silver made many recordings with Billy Murray, as an Irish and Jewish dialect combo (see External Links below for links to recordings). Their last recording together was on February 11, 1943 for Beacon Records.


  • Corenthal, Michael G., Cohen on the Telephone: Jewish Humor and Dialect (1984)
  • Whitburn, Joel, Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954: The History of American Popular Music (Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc., 1986)

External links

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