Monday, September 27, 2021

Review of "Here Come the Judge!," by “Pigmeat” Markham and Bill Levinson

 Review of

Here Come the Judge!, by “Pigmeat” Markham and Bill Levinson

Five out of five stars

Autobiography of a little-known black comedian

 Dewey “Pigmeat” Markham was a black entertainer that left home when he was in his early teens with almost nothing so that he could be part of a traveling entertainment group. Over the years, he was an integral part of many acts, he was best known as a comedian, but he also did some song and dance. His most famous act was based on his acting as a judge, the skit was opened with “heyeah come da judge."

While he was well known to black audiences, Markham was almost unknown to whites until Sammy Davis Junior used the line on the television show “Laugh In.” In an early example of something going viral, it was not long before people everywhere were using it. He is also credited with crafting the line, “Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls.”

 This book is an autobiography of Markham and the events of his life are not presented sequentially. While he struggled to make it in show business at a time when the audiences were largely segregated, he expresses no bitterness. He points out that at the time, the humor appreciated by blacks and whites was quite different. Markham states that most of his routines simply would not have been understood by white audiences.

 This is a good story of a man that should be an entertainment legend. He was active in entertainment for over 60 years and encountered nearly every black entertainer during that time as well as many of the white ones. Markham was the creator of some of the most widely used phrases of the sixties and his life in show business was challenging. It was very educational to learn about his adventures in touring the black circuit at a time when small towns were eager to get live entertainment.

No comments:

Post a Comment