Joey Adams

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This article is about the comedian and author. For the actress, see Joey Lauren Adams.
Joey Adams
Joseph Abramowitz.jpg
Joey Adams
Born Joseph Abramowitz
(1911-01-06)January 6, 1911
Died December 2, 1999(1999-12-02) (aged 88)
Cause of death Heart failure
Occupation Comedian, news columnist[1]
Spouse(s) Cindy Adams (1952-1999; his death)

Joey Adams (January 6, 1911 – December 2, 1999), born Joseph Abramowitz, was an American comedian who was inducted into the New York Friars' Club in 1977 and wrote the book Borscht Belt in 1973.

Life and career[edit]

Adams was born in Brooklyn, New York as Joseph Abramowitz. For many years, he wrote the "Strictly for Laughs" column in the New York Post. His wife, Cindy Adams (to whom he was married from 1952 until his death), remains a society/gossip columnist for the same paper.

Adams' career spanned more than 70 years and included appearances in nightclubs and vaudevilles. He also hosted for a while his own radio show and wrote 23 books, including "From Gags to Riches," "Joey Adams Joke Book," "Laugh Your Calories Away", "On the Road with Uncle Sam"[2] and "Encyclopedia of Humor." The Yale Book of Quotations cites him as being the first to say, "With friends like that, who needs enemies?"[3]

Adams as the host of the radio show Spend a Million in 1954.

He made numerous television appearances over the years, including on The Ed Sullivan Show and Howard Stern's 1990s TV shows, and was in the films Singing in the Dark (1956, of which he was also executive producer), Don't Worry, We'll Think of a Title (1966), and Silent Prey (1997). For many years, he hosted a radio talk show on WEVD in New York.[citation needed]


For his civic work, he was honored by Presidents and statesmen, and he held honorary doctorates in comedy from Columbia, New York University, Long Island University and City College, his alma mater.[citation needed]

He was active in the Friars Club and was president of the American Guild of Variety Artists AGVA. He was appointed as Commissioner of Youth for the City of New York by Mayor Robert F. Wagner emulating LaGuardia's civic-mindness in recognition for his efforts in battling juvenile delinquency on behalf of the AGVA Youth Fund. Governor Rockefeller also encouraged him to spread his program throughout the entire state and eventually it moved westward to California.[citation needed]


Adams died at St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan, aged 88, from heart failure. Eulogies were delivered by Adams' widow and Mayor Rudy Giuliani.


  • Smith, Ronald L. Who's Who in Comedy. New York, Facts on File: 1992; pgs. 5,6

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Owen Moritz."Comic legend Joey Adams, the fastest joke teller in the East",, December 3, 1999; accessed October 25, 2015.
  2. ^ On the Road with Uncle Sam
  3. ^ Fred R. Shapiro (ed.), The Yale Book of Quotations, Yale University Press, 2006, p. 478.