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