Sunday, August 2, 2009

Yoo Hoo! It's Molly Goldberg at the Movies

Today I took my parents to see the documentary on The Goldbergs, the old radio and tv show from the 30s-50s. It was the brainchild of an amazing pioneer of women in modern show biz, Gertrude Berg. I don't remember ever having seen the show, and was not even born when the radio show was on (it started on Black Tuesday of the Depression), but I certainly remember people talking about Molly Goldberg, as if she were a real person rather than a character on TV's first sit com. Jews of course regarded her stardom with pride; she was a huge star, not only among Jews and easterners though, but among most people at that time, and she introduced people who knew nothing of Judaism to Passover by doing a seder with a real rabbi on the radio in her show. I was proud to learn about her, even now, and her amazing talent. She wrote thousands of scripts for her daily radio and tv show, acted on Broadway, and as a 13 year old, effectively ran her father's hotel in the Catskills. If she had the opportunity to go to college, I am sure she would have performed brilliantly there as well.
My mom didn't remember the show at all, and wasn't very interested in the movie. The only movie I have ever seen her enjoy in recently years was Up, actually. It is difficult to maneuver them around in movie theaters, as one might imagine. They almost end up on the floor because they don't know how to manage the seats and can't see in the dark. I have to hang on to them and guide them carefully. Sometimes I ask an usher to help by holding a flashlight on the seats. Then they want popcorn and manage to spill stuff everywhere. But today was relatively event free. My dad was exhausted by the time he got to his seat and slept through much of the movie, but when he was awake, he said he enjoyed it.


Lou said...

What an interesting story of the radio show.

marly said...


We missed it--flashed through the nearest city so fast that I missed it while blinking. Perhaps you ought to try her on similar films on DVD.

Robbi said...

I don't know what would be similar, Marly. That's an unusual film.

Robbi said...

Lou, It made me wish I had heard the show, but it's probably available somewhere online.