Jack Pearl, born Jack Perlman (October 29, 1894 ￢ﾀﾓ December
25, 1982), was a vaudeville performer and a star of early radio.
Born in New York, Pearl made an easy transition from
vaudeville to broadcasting when he introduced his character Baron Munchausen on
The Ziegfeld Follies of the Air in 1932. His creation was loosely based on the
Baron Mￃﾼnchhausen literary character. As the Baron, Pearl would tell
far-fetched stories with a comic German accent. When the straight man
(originally Ben Bard, but later Cliff Hall) expressed scepticism, the Baron
replied with his familiar tagline and punchline: "Vass you dere,
Sharlie?" This catch phrase soon became part of the national lexicon.
Pearl played this character and others in musical revues of
the 1920s and 1930s: The Dancing Girl (1923), Topics of 1923 (1923￢ﾀﾓ1924), A
Night in Paris (1926), Artists and Models (1927￢ﾀﾓ1928), Pleasure Bound (1929),
International Review (1930), Ziegfeld Follies of 1931, Pardon My English (1923)
and All for All (1943).
Pearl's radio career included stints as the host of The
Lucky Strike Hour (1932￢ﾀﾓ34) and The Jack Pearl Show, which ran from late 1936
through early 1937, sponsored by Raleigh and Kool Cigarettes.
The success of his first radio series brought him to the
attention of MGM. He starred as his character in one feature film, Meet the
Baron (1933) with Jimmy Durante, Edna May Oliver, ZaSu Pitts and the Three
Stooges. He also appears in Ben Bard and Jack Pearl (1926), a film of their vaudeville
act made in the DeForest Phonofilm sound-on-film process, and Hollywood Party
With the cancellation of his second radio series, Pearl
found himself struggling for work. He continued in radio with shows like, Jack
and Cliff (1948) and The Baron and the Bee (1952), a quiz show, but he never
recaptured his mid-1930s fame.
In 1934, a juvenile novel, Jack Pearl as Detective Baron
Munchausen, was based on his radio scripts. He received a star on the Hollywood
Walk of Fame for his radio work. Pearl died in New York in 1982.
He was an uncle to the agent and producer Bernie Brillstein.