Definition:  a person who makes things happen, in particular a professional entertainer or comedian whose function is to encourage an audience, guests at a resort, etc., to participate in the entertainments or activities.

From the Yiddish, “one who makes a racket.” 

Remember the hit 1987 movie Dirty Dancing?  Its setting was an early 60’s summer at a Catskills mountain resort, and to get the guests involved in their own recreation the resort employed tummlers.  These peppy social directors would rally the party games and wig try-ons, get the wall-flowers to join in on the dance floor and be sure no man was left behind in the scavenger hunt.  I’d be honored to be named a “virtual tummler,” if I can create a little bit of excitement about reading or researching a topic you never considered before you saw it in this crazy space.  Despite the lazy title, my humble blog goal is to stir up a little intellectual curiosity in spite of my own natural tendency to inertia.   The A-to-Z Challenge has been a fun way to prime both the creative pump and invite some new folks to visit, and I am grateful for both.

I’d also like to pay homage to one of the great tummlers, Lou Goldstein, who left our world a little less schmaltzy two years ago this very month.  He was known as the greatest Simon Says impresario that ever lived.


Apologies for the cut/paste link for Mr. Goldstein’s obit, but the NY Times doesn’t seem to have it “linkable” if you’re not a subscriber:   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/16/nyregion/lou-goldstein-borscht-belt-comedian-dies-at-90.html?_r=0


4 thoughts on “Tummler

  1. 1. we actually had the honor of participating in a game of simon sez that was led by lou goldstein (not positive, but i think it was at the concord hotel?!?!).

    2. sorry to be criticial, but did you mean to express an interest in being a “virtual tumbler”, lol.

    1. thank you, notorious…. appreciate the gift of your “second sight.”
      … and although I recall you are not very competitive, I’m going to speculate that you remember who won that game of Simon Sez? 😉

    1. It’s funny — I have a folder for clips that intrigue me, and Lou Goldstein’s obit was one of them. It just jumped out at me while I was ruminating on the A-to-Z Challenge, and tummler just came along at the right moment.

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