Cliff Hall - Rotten Tomatoes

Cliff Hall

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Cliff Hall enjoyed a 30-year career on radio and in television and movies, but he seems destined to be known for a single role, of a character whose name is never given -- Hall played the president of the Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, chapter of the Raccoon Lodge, to which Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) on The Honeymooners belongs. With his unctuous demeanor, Hall was perfect in the part, and as a result of 50 years of reruns of the "classic 39" filmed episodes in the series, the role and Hall's manner and voice have become familiar to four generations of subsequent viewers. Born Robert Clifford Hall in Brooklyn, NY, in 1894, he made his stage debut at age 19, in 1910, in Lew Fields' Hanky Panky. He continued working on-stage until the 1920s, when he met up with Jack Pearl and the two began a friendship that would last the rest of their lives. On radio, Hall became famous as the straight man for Pearl in the latter's fantastic Baron Munchausen stories, his signature bit being to question the teller, who would turn around with the question "Vas you dere, Sharlie?" The phrase became a well-known popular-culture expression, and if anything, Hall was so popular in the bit that he was typecast as a comic straight man. In later years, he was on This Is Your FBI, and he became a regular as well on the television soap opera Search for Tomorrow; once the spell of radio was broken, he made appearances on television shows such as The Defenders and The Patty Duke Show. Hall kept his hand in the stage, doing The Music Man (as the mayor) and later playing the judge in Meredith Willson's musical adaptation of Miracle on 34th Street, entitled Here's Love (one critic described Hall's performance as a cross between Bobby Clark and Victor Moore). One of his last stage roles was as Dr. Bradley in Sherry, a musical version of The Man Who Came to Dinner. Hall passed away in 1972, but thanks to reruns of The Honeymooners, he can still he seen in the mass media decades later.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Follies Girl
  • Cliff
1943

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Bewitched
1964-1972
  • Horace
  • 1966

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