shepquest

Home » George S. Kaufman » JEAN SHEPHERD: Celebrity Fans, Friends

JEAN SHEPHERD: Celebrity Fans, Friends

Here is my ever-growing list of well-known people in the entertainment world who are/were listeners to Jean Shepherd. Following includes those who can be rather positively believed were listeners, either because they themselves claim they were or through other rather definite evidence. I note just one or two prominent fields for each listing. This list is not definitive–it’s just of those I can think of. I’d appreciate hearing about others–with source of the info.

UNDOUBTEDLY LISTENERS

COMEDY

Penn Jillette (Comic, magician–Penn & Teller)

Andy Kaufman (Performance artist)

Ernie Kovacs (Video innovator)

Bruce Maher (Comic, “the Rabbi” in Seinfeld)

Henry Morgan (Comic broadcaster)

Roger Price (Comic, author,  editor of Grump magazine)

Jerry Seinfeld (Sitcom and standup comic)

Harry Shearer (Broadcaster, “Simpson” voices)

WRITING/PUBLISHING

Bob Brown (Editor: Car and Driver)

Milton Caniff (Comic strip artist–pre 1955 “Terry and the Pirates”)

Billy Collins (Poet—U. S. Poet Laureate)

Kate Collins (Writer– humor/crime books—(“Flower Shop Mysteries”)

Ed Fancher (Publisher: Village Voice)

Herb Gardner (Cartoonist, playwright—“A Thousand Clowns”)

Jules Feiffer (Playwright, cartoonist)

Bill Griffith (Cartoonist–“Zippy the Pinhead”)

Hugh Hefner (Publisher: Playboy)

William Hjortsberg (Author–Gray Matters, Toro! Toro! Toro!)

George S. Kaufman (Playwright)

Jack Kerouac (Author–On the Road)

Paul Krassner (Writer, publisher)

S. J. Perelman (Comic writer)

Shel Silverstein (Cartoonist, writer)

R. L. Stine (Goosebumps book series)

Dan Wakefield (Author: New York in the 50s)

Tom Wolfe (Author: Bonfire of the Vanitites, etc.)

MUSIC

George Antheil (“Ballet Mécanique”)

John Cage (Shep describes him as early listener he talked with various time by phone)

Donald Fagen (Steely Dan)

Mitch Leigh (“Into the Unknown With Jazz Music,” “Man of La Mancha”)

Charles Mingus “The Clown”)

Dee Snider (Twisted Sister front man and songwriter)

THEATER, MEDIA

Fred Barzyk (Video director–major Shepherd TV)

John Cassavetes (Actor, Director–Shadows)

Ron Della Chiesa (WGBH Broadcaster)

Bob Clark (Film director—Porky’sA Christmas Story)

Bruce Conner (Avant garde film maker, sculptor)

Art D’Lugoff (Concert producer)

Barry Farber (Broadcaster)

Helen Gee (Founder of “The Limelight”)

Larry Josephson (Broadcaster)

Larry King (Broadcaster)

Arch Oboler (Playwright)

Lois Nettleton (Actress, wife)

Keith Olbermann (Media–politics & sports commentator)

•   •   •

POSSIBLE/PROBABLE LISTENERS

There are also many who had connections to Shep and/or were described by Shep or others as having been his friends, but we can’t know which of these people were indeed friends or which of them may or may not have been listeners. For example, Bob & Ray were fellow broadcasters and friends of Shep; Shep claimed to be friends with Jack Kerouac; Lois Nettleton said that from time to time Shep went on sketching expeditions not only with Shep Silverstein, but with watercolorist Dong Kingman and Playboy illustrator LeRoy Neiman.

I also tend to think that a good portion of those connected to the Village, creative, and intellectual scene in New York City in the late 1950s and into the 1960s were likely to have been Shepherd listeners. These would include people like Laurie Anderson, Bob Dylan, and Woody Allen.

Please let me know of others, giving me whatever evidence you may have of connection to Shep.

____________________________________________

Advertisements

4 Comments

  1. Frank Reck says:

    Gene,

    You need to add Brock Yates to this list. He was an editor and long time writer at Car and Driver. Like Shep, Brock is perhaps best known to the general public through a movie, in his case “Cannonball Run,” which is a fictional account of the Cannonball races that he staged in the early 70’s. There are some articles about these that may be available on the Car and Driver website. In one picture taken atthe start of one of the Cannonballs Shep can be seen standing in front of a Dodge van along with Yates and other participants and their vehicles. I also remember a road test that Shep and Yates did together of a Lincoln that ends with them trying to balance a quarter on the hood of the running car, which apparently heartened back to the tet of a luxury vehicle back in their youth.

  2. Bud says:

    Thank you so much for compiling this list, Gene, as I find it as fascinating as it is informative, as well as being a true reference gift for all of us aficionados of Jean Shepherd. You mention radio talk show great and noted Shep admirer Barry Farber, who I spent a child — and young adult — hood listening to and enjoying right alongside Jean during their shared tenure at WOR AM in New York City. Digressing for a moment, I have to say that there is little doubt that I learned more in their radio program ‘classrooms’ during this critical period of my life than I did in junior and senior high school but, as I say, I digress. I wonder if you know how Barry is doing these days? I’ve searched the internet for current information about him, but have had scant return. In his own way, I believe he shared a level of brilliance with Shep (although certainly in vastly different ways). Thanks again, Gene!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: