PHIL SILVERS 2016 fine art print / edition of 15 / $280.00
Phil Silvers (1911–1985) was a bald, brash, Brooklyn-born comedy dynamo, one of the Top Bananas of the mid-20th century. A pushy, fast-talking, opportunistic con man with a phony salesman's smile and a heart of gold, Silvers won over TV audiences in the 1950's with a top-rated military comedy known by various titles: You'll Never Get Rich, The Phil Silvers Show, and Sgt. Bilko. The show was tailored to Silvers' hyperactive personality by the brilliant television auteur Nat Hiken (also the subject of a Drew Friedman portrait). Despite Ernest G. Bilko's propensity for never giving a sucker an even break, he was embraced by the American viewing public, and his fans included President (and WW2 military hero) Dwight D. Eisenhower, who claimed he never missed an episode. Bilko is today considered one of early TV's legacy sitcoms, along with the likes of The Honeymooners and I Love Lucy.

Like many of his comedic colleagues of the period, Silvers had worked his way up from vaudeville and burlesque houses, before landing roles in films and on Broadway. Unlike many of his comedic colleagues, he never did stand-up, and off-camera he did not tell jokes. Rather, he was a comic actor. He did not say funny things—his job was to say things funny. Although no one would associate Silvers with music, he wrote lyrics for Frank Sinatra's classic "Nancy With the Laughing Face."

Drew Friedman created a black & white portrait of a geriatric Phil Silvers for his first Old Jewish Comedians book. This new portrait depicts a younger Silvers around 1960, after the cancellation of Sgt. Bilko. He was far from finished, as he headlined in nightclubs while remaining in demand for TV specials, sitcom guest appearances, movie roles (It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, among them), and Broadway musicals and comedies.
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Only fifteen (15) prints of PHIL SLVERS were produced for this edition. Each print is signed in the lower right, hand-titled in the center, and numbered in the lower left (all beneath the image). We have sold print numbers 1/15 thru 13/15, and are now offering print number 14/15, unframed, for $280.00 (plus shipping and handling). The final print of the edition, number 15/15, will be offered at $300. However, the final two prints can be purchased together, each at the current price. Once the edition sells out, this work will no longer be available from us as a fine art print.

The image area is 17-1/2" high x 13" wide on an untrimmed 22" x 17" sheet. Paper, ink, and production specifications, as well as shipping details, are available on our PRINT SPECS page.