Welcome to #SWC, a quickie, 5-minute story about an amazing Jewish woman in history!
Thank you for joining me!
Today we have Gertrude Berg!
Yup, she was a Berg, and I’m a Berg, at least through marriage, so that’s as good a way as any to choose somebody to highlight!
Gertrude Berg was an actress, a screenwriter, and a producer, born in 1899.
She was responsible for the TV program The Goldbergs, which started as a radio play.
The Goldbergs became one of TV’s most popular sitcoms of the time, beginning in 1949, post-WWII. Gertrude was able to bring a Jewish family into everybody’s TV sets, into their homes, and by doing this, she was able to show Jewish people in a positive light. She’s funny, very stereotypical. You know that ignorance is dangerous, and Gertrude Berg was changing this about the Jewish American, the Jewish Immigrants from Europe to the US, by teaching the US public, in a funny way, about the Jewish immigrants.
I’ll tell you why I was attracted to Gertrude, other than her name:
Gertrude wasn’t just the actress; she was the business woman behind the production.
And a genius marketer.
The program starts and ends with her facing the camera, and naturally talking about the product she’s advertising, in this case, Sanka coffee, as if it’s part of the program.
Now that’s exactly what podcasters do, and why they have such phenomenal success when advertising products. The presenter is believable! You trust them, know them, and like them.
So if the Molly Goldberg on the show, or Gertrude Berg in real life, recommends a product to you while talking to you face to face, in the most personal way, then you’ll buy what she’s selling!
So, I thought a fun thing to do would be for you to be able to hear Molly Goldberg talking about Sanka at the end of her show, The Goldbergs.
Isn’t it great to hear how she speaks? How she so naturally talks about a product, as if you and she are best friends, and she is doing you a favor by telling you about it, and how you’d be silly to miss out.
She certainly has a lot of shtick !!
Gertrude Berg went on to win a Tony award in 1959 for her performance in "A Majority of One",
She died in September of 1966, which coincidentally is the month I was born. How's that for bringing the story back around :)
Thank you to the Jewish Woman’s Archive for a lot of this information.
Thanks for joining me, this was fun, even though it took a really long time to make this week.