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Sherman Hemsley’s Last New Jersey Show [VIDEO]

On May 11th 2011, I had the pleasure of booking and opening for Sherman Hemsley at my SARCASM Comedy Club in Cherry Hill.

Sherman Hemsley's last New Jersey comedy show
Sherman Hemsley's last New Jersey comedy show (Townsquare Media NJ)

He flew in on Thursday night and all he talked about was how happy he was to get to do the show he always wanted to do for his old neighborhood in Philadelphia. The next morning, he made the tour of morning radio, The NBC 10 Show, CBS 3,  Talk Philly and then had lunch at Chickies and Pete’s where he drew such a crowd that television cameras showed up for the 11 o Clock news.

Sherman was a conduit of good will wherever he went. He loved people and they loved him right back. As we prepared for the “show he always wanted to do” I was surprised to find out that he had put together a mix of not only comedy and Jeffersons stories, but he was going to sing 11 standards from the 40’s and 50’s including Begin the Beguine, I’ve Got You Under My Skin and the big close “My Way”

Steve Trevelise interviewed on Sherman Helmsley
Steve Trevelise interviewed about Sherman Helmsley on Action News (WPVI TV)

We honestly wondered how this would be received and the answer was very well thank you. The crowd loved him. In fact he even made friends with the limo driver inviting him to a party in his old neighborhood.

Kenny Johnson, a longtime friend traveled with Sherman and told us stories of their days with Smokin’ Joe Frazier.

One thing that surprised me about Sherman was that he was so young when he played the role of George Jefferson. The other was how down to earth he was as a person and how much he loved his neighborhood. Listening to Sherman describe the old days you would think he always lived in the deluxe apartment in the sky.

Here is video of me on Action News last night being interviewed about Hemsley.

Rest in peace my friend.

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