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.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Gimpel meets the famous Evangelist "Billy Sunday" - 4-11-1917

I've been going along chronologically - on the blog I'm in 1915, but I'm working on the new book which is 1917, and I just ran across this wonderful cartoon in which Gimpel Beynish observes and enjoys the eccentric real-life preacher "Billy Sunday," who began his career in the mid-West but visited New York City in 1917. It cracked me up so I couldn't wait to share it with you.

As you can read in Wikipedia, Billy Sunday was a popular outfielder in the National League during the 1880s, then found religion and became an evangelist. After he and his wife entrusted their children to a nanny so Nell could manage the revival campaigns, she transformed her husband into a "nationally renowned phenomenon."

By the New York campaign of 1917, the Sundays had a paid staff of twenty-six. "Sunday gyrated, stood on the pulpit, ran from one end of the platform to the other, and dove across the stage, pretending to slide into home plate. Sometimes he even smashed chairs to emphasize his points."

I think maybe the point here is that, while eccentric, Billy Sunday was incredibly successful, ie, laughing all the way to the bank.

April 11, 1917: He's really no fool, that's why he's a prophet.
  1. GB: You don't recognize me? That amazes me! I'm Gimpel Beynish, you know, and now: what's your real name?
  2. Stranger: Me? My name? I'm the bitterest enemy of the Devil, of drunkards, of women...
  3. Stranger: of Hell, of demons and evil spirits, of ... of everything in the world which is angry and bad and despicable.
  4. GB: Now it's coming to me! In your talk, in your behavior, there's something ... wait, let's see, you are...
  5. GB: You are! You shoot nails! Over a collection. Now I know, you're no other than Billy Sunday.

Click for a larger view.

קײן נאַר איז ער טאַקי ניט, דערפֿאַר איז ער אָבער אַ נביא.

גימפּעל בײניש: איהר קענט מיך ניט? דאָס איז טאַקי פֿאַר מיר אַ װאונדער! איך בין גימפּעל בײניש, יונאָו, און איצט: װי איז איהרענס װערטהען נאָמען?
פֿרעמדער: איך?! מײַן נאָמען?! איך בין דער פֿערביטערסטער שֹונא פֿון דעם טײַװעל, פֿון שכּרות, פֿון פֿרױען, פֿון…
פֿרעמדער: פֿון גהינום, פֿון רוחות, פֿון שדים, פֿון… פֿון אַלץ אין דער װעלט װאָס איז בײז און שלעכט און שפֿל. פֿון…
גימפּעל בײניש: עפּעס דערמאָהן איך זיך! אין אײַערע רײד, אין אײַער האַנדלען ליעגט עפּעס… װאַרט, לאָמיר זעהן, איהר זײַט…
גימפּעל בײניש: איהר זײַט! איהר זיעסט מיט טשװעקעס. איבער אַ קאָלעקשאָן. איצט װײס איך, איהר זײַט ניט קײן אַנדערער, װי בילי סאָנדעי…

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