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Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg (2009)



Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 69
Fresh: 64 | Rotten: 5

Equal parts edification and entertainment, Kempner's tender tribute to a forgotten pioneer of American entertainment is both richly deserved and long overdue.


Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 4

Equal parts edification and entertainment, Kempner's tender tribute to a forgotten pioneer of American entertainment is both richly deserved and long overdue.



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Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 2,360

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Movie Info

The true story of television pioneer, Gertrude Berg, the creator, principal writer, and star of "The Goldbergs," a popular radio show that debuted in 1929 and later became a popular television sitcom.


Documentary, Television

May 1, 2010


IFC Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (69) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (64) | Rotten (5) | DVD (4)

It is only in the sequence about Berg's popular costar Philip Loeb that Aviva Kempner's documentary resonates.

December 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Yoo-Hoo suggests that, yes, Berg broke new ground and, no, she shouldn't be forgotten. But it doesn't explain why she endured, or why she is so forgotten today.

November 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic


October 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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History has been unfair to Berg, a fact that filmmaker Aviva Kempner hopes to correct with this illuminating documentary.

October 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Aviva Kempner's documentary Yoo Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg is a delightful introduction to Berg, who began writing and performing skits at her father's resort hotel in the Catskill Mountains, then studied drama at Columbia University.

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

We're left with an impression of a vivacious pioneer; but warm shouldn't have to mean fuzzy.

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Aviva Kempner's documentary is a real eye-opener on an influential woman whose once central place in American popular has been mostly forgotten.

September 4, 2010 Full Review Source:

Gertrude Berg was the Queen of All Media long before Howard Stern ever dreamed about being King.

August 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Berg's professional story is worthy enough to be retold, although one wishes for something a little more emotionally compelling.

August 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Popcornworld

Kempner has made The Goldbergs informative, entertaining, poignant, and ... nostalgic. A piece of history has been saved.

April 30, 2010 Full Review Source:

A remarkable story, all the more remarkable for the era in which it happened, an era when most women had almost no opportunities to become famous, rich and powerful. Gertrude Berg not only triumphed during this time, she was the Oprah Winfrey of her time.

November 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

It's puzzling that a paean to Gertrude Berg's Jewish New York housewife, Mrs. Goldberg -- a character so beloved and enduring that she could serve as a travel guide through early-to-mid-20th-century history -- could fall so flat.

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

No matter the accomplishments during her lifetime, Gertrude Berg remains an integral part of the modern media's formation. Thankfully, we now have a permanent testament to how important - and irresistible - she was.

October 23, 2009 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Stylistically unpretentious but highly informative and enjoyable documentary [on] one of radio's great stars and a television pioneer.

October 21, 2009 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Stylistically, Aviva Kempner's documentary is no ground-breaker. But its old-school talking-heads/narration/footage format suits its subject matter, and the remarkable story needs no window dressing.

October 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Kempner did her homework in restoring from obscurity this trailblazing sitcom pioneer. The film is well-organized and filled with interesting trivia tidbits.

October 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Entertainment Spectrum
Entertainment Spectrum

Kempner marshals an impressive lineup of both Berg and Goldberg fans to underscore the irrefutable significance of her subject.

October 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

It's absolutely charming to be reminded of -- or, in most cases, introduced to -- Berg and her particular genius. But too much of the film is too light.

October 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Oregonian

The real kick comes from seeing the stars of yesteryear in grainy film stock.

September 7, 2009 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

This was a very informative documentary that is told with a subtle passion. I found it very warm and welcoming. If you have interest in entertainment history, this is a must see!

August 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Sin Magazine
Sin Magazine

... a good introduction to Gertrude Berg for those who have never heard of her and a pleasant journey down nostalgia lane for those who grew up with her shows.

August 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Playback:stl

It's delightful, if a mite sketchy.

August 28, 2009 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Audience Reviews for Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg

"Yoo-Hoo, Mrs, Goldberg" is a charming and informative documentary about Getrude Berg, nee Tilly Edelstein, who was not only the star of "The Goldbergs," an immensely popular sitcom that originated on the radio, but also wrote the scripts in the days before word processors and computers with bad handwriting that puts my atrocious handwriting to shame.(One interviewee refers to her as the Oprah of her time.) What's especially noteworthy about "The Goldbergs" is that it is the prototypical family sitcom, influencing many sitcoms in the years to come.(Norman Lear is on hand to testify to this.) Although, to be honest, any television series that lasts for any period of time will have rising stars passing through at some point.

"The Goldbergs" not only has an important place in television history but also in the current events of the times by presenting a Jewish family in New York City without stereotypes in a time of growing anti-semitism in the 1930's. And the television program would be adversely affected by the Blacklist of the 1950's, despite its huge popularity. Sadly enough, "The Goldbergs" has faded somewhat from memory as it has not found a new audience with younger generations which hopefully this fine documentary helps to rectify.
August 14, 2011
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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