“The Modern Baron Munchausen”-That’s what they call JACK PEARL.( Jack Pearl papers, 1899-1973 )
And, if you’ve: heard his weird tales over that Magic Carpet. progra.m, you
know he deserves the title. And, because; he made it an amusing art instead
of a vice, he gets paid for telling whoppers.
Jack got his first taste of Broadway in the stock room of the Shapiro Publishing
Company. Finally, offered $12.00 a week to appear in d Gus Edwards
chorus containing Walter Winchell, Georgie Jessel, Eddie Cantor, Eddie
Buzzell and the Duncan Sisters, Jack held out for $15.00 and didn’t get it!
Played stock, vaudeville, the Shuberts signed him as a
Ziegfeld Follies headliner.
Jack is not superstitious. He’s just careful. That’s why he carries untold
lucky pieces, a chunk of wood in every pocket and has personally collected
the world’s l.ugest dnd most vdrie:d collection of strciy needles, h<1irpins,
safety pins and common, ordinary, everyday pins.
The catchphrase “Vas you dere, Charley?” swept the United States in late 1932 due to the brief popularity of radio comedian Jack Pearl. As the character Baron Munchausen, Pearl would tell increasingly fanciful stories of his travels and exploits to his sidekick “Charley” (originally played by Cliff Hall), who at some point would express disbelief. The Baron would then retort using this catchphrase. His popularity quickly faded as the character was perceived as one-dimensional. (Joe Penner would enjoy similar fleeting fame the following year with his solitary catchphrase “Wanna buy a duck?”)
This clip is from the 1933 film “Meet the Baron” and features Ben Bard as “Charley.”