Henry “Henny” Youngman (original Yiddish surname Yungman; 16 March 1906 – 24 February 1998) was an English-American comedian and musician famous for his mastery of the “one-liner”; his best known one-liner being “Take my wife … please”.
In a time when many comedians told elaborate anecdotes, Youngman’s routine consisted of telling simple one-liner jokes, occasionally with interludes of violin playing. These depicted simple, cartoon-like situations, eliminating lengthy build-ups and going straight to the punch line. He was known as “the King of One-Liners”, a title conferred to him by columnist Walter Winchell. A stage performance by Youngman lasted only 15 to 20 minutes but contained dozens of jokes in rapid-fire succession.