He was a comedian on the old radio program, Kay Kyser, playing someone very dim-witted.
His real name: Merwyn Bogue.
In his 1989 autobiography, Bogue explained his stage name, which he took from the lyrics of one of his comedic songs, “Isch ga-bibble.”
The song derived from a mock-Yiddish expression, “Ische ga bibble?”, which was purported to mean “I should worry?”, prompting a curious (and perhaps not coincidental) association with the “What, me
worry?” motto of Mad Magazine’s mascot, Alfred E. Neuman.
While this derivation has been widely quoted on the Internet and elsewhere, the expression “ische ga bibble” is not Yiddish and contains no Yiddish words at all. However, there is a Yiddish expression,
“nisht gefidlt,” meaning “it doesn’t matter to me,” from which the term “ish kabibble” may derive.
Although Bogue’s stage persona was that of a dimwitted person, he was a notable cornet player and was also business manager for the Kay Kyser Orchestra from 1931 to 1951. With the decline of the
big bands, Bogue found a new career in real estate.