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Double-talk is a form of speech in which inappropriate, invented, or nonsense words are used to give the appearance of knowledge and so confuse or amuse the audience.

Comedians who have used this as part of their act include Al Kelly,[1] Cliff Nazarro,[2] Danny Kaye,[3] Gary Owens, Irwin Corey,[4] Jackie Gleason, Jerry Lewis, Sid Caesar,[5] Stanley Unwin,[2] Reggie Watts,[6] and Vanessa Bayer. [7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vaudeville, Old & New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America, 1, Routledge, 2007, p. 621, ISBN 978-0-415-93853-2, ... Al Kelly was synonymous with double-talk.
  2. ^ a b Dick Vosburgh (17 January 2002), "Stanley Unwin", The Independent, In the 1930s, "double-talk artists" enjoyed a brief craze in American show business. Comedians such as Jackie Gleason and the long-forgotten Cliff Nazarro and Al Kelly spouted nonsense words like "kopasetic", "franistan", "strismic" and "kravistate". Their double-talk was usually used to hoodwink a stooge and was delivered briskly, loudly and aggressively. Britain's Stanley Unwin, however, delivered his own brand of double-talk in the most benign way
  3. ^ Encyclopedia of twentieth century American humor, 2000, p. 246, ISBN 978-1-57356-218-8, Danny Kaye was a master at tongue-twisters, doubletalk, and dialects.
  4. ^ Corey Kilgannon (April 14, 2008), "A Distinguished Professor With a Ph.D. in Nonsense", The New York Times
  5. ^ Dobuzinskis, Alex. "Comic legend Sid Caesar dies at 91". Reuters. Retrieved 2014-02-13. Some of Caesar's most popular bits were built around pompous or outlandish characters - such as Professor von Votsisnehm - in which he spoke in a thick accent or mimicked foreign languages in comic but convincing gibberish.
  6. ^ Watts, Reggie. "Reggie Watts at TEDx Berlin". TEDx Berlin. TEDx, Youtube. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  7. ^ Bayer, Vanessa. "Weekend Update: Dana Lazarus". Weekend Update Weather Report. Saturday Night Live,Youtube. Retrieved 7 May 2017.