Gimpel Beynish the Matchmaker
(Gimpl Beynish der Shadkhn)
Yiddish Comics of the early 20th century

Translation and commentary by Jane Peppler
Click here to read about and order the seven Gimpel books I've published.

Comics read right to left. Click on any comic strip for larger view.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

In which we meet Abie the Agent. 2-7-1915

I think this strangely drawn little creature must be Abie the Agent, a car salesman who had his own comic strip drawn by Harry Hershfield. From Wikipedia:
Abie was a rebuttal of some of the Jewish stereotypes of caricatures, and represented a moderately successful (though very stingy) middle-class immigrant. While Abie and his friends had many typical Jewish characteristics, such as their names or their use of Yiddish words and accents, they also lacked many of the negative or malicious elements, such as exaggerated physical traits, found in the depictions of Jews from this time... he was a prime example of the belief in the integration of German Jews into U.S. society. During 1917, the character enlisted in the Army to help the USA win World War I.

February 7, 1915: He meets a famous person but doesn't have any luck thereby.
  1. GB: Hello, Abie! What are you doing in our neighborhood? You're really a guest from guestland.
  2. GB: Say, really, how long can one just shlep around unmarried? Come, I have a bride for you, a real princess.
  3. GB: Mr. Lemelzon lives right here, he has a daughter, you don't see any like her uptown.
  4. Lemelzon: You want to convince my daughter to leave her fiance? I'll soon show you what I think of that.
  5. Abie: Say, mister, it's not a bridegroom you need for your daughter, better you should buy her an automobile.

ער באַגעגענט אַ באַריהמטען פּאַרשױן, נאָר קײן סך מזל האָט ער דורך איהם ניט.

גימפּעל בײניש: העללאָ, אײבי! װאָס טהוסט דו אין אונזערע מקומית? ביסט דאָך טאַקע אַ גאַסט פֿון גאַסטען לאַנד.
גימפּעל בײניש: סעי, װיפֿיעל איז דער שיער צו זיצען אַ בחור? קום, איך האָב פֿאַר דיר אַ כּלה, אַ רעגעלע בת מלכּה.
גימפּעל בײניש: אָט דאָרטען װאױנט ער, מיסטער לעמילזאָן. האָט ער אַ טאָכטער – זעהסט אַסור ניט אַזעלכעס אָפּ-טאון.
לעמעלזאָן: איהר װילט אָפּרעדען מײַן טאָכטער פֿון איהר חתן? איך׳ל אײַך באַלד װײַזען װאָס איך דענק װעגען דעם.
אײבי: סעי, מיסטער, קײן חתן טאַקי ניט, אָבער אַן אױטאָמאָביל מוזט איהר דאָך פֿאַר אײַער טאָכטער קױפֿען.

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