The Erie County community of North East is best known for its grapes.  But, it's also the birthplace of a talented entertainer from years gone by.  His name is Ish Kabibble.

The late Ish Kabibble was truly a household name in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. He was a cornet player and vocalist for the popular Kay Kyser Orchestra.  He appeared in movies.  He had a deadpan comedy routine that he performed on radio and television.  The North East Arts Council believes it is about time to honor their native son.

"We feel that his history falls right into the arts and culture of North East.  So we thought it would be great to celebrate him,” says Janet Rose Wojtalik, Board Member. 

The council held a party on Ish Kabibble's birthday..January 19.  The festivities started with the crowd singing happy birthday to Ish.  The entertainer was known for his bowl haircut. With some yarn and some glue, the attendees at the party made their own Ish Kabibble hairdo mask. It’s a hair style that may have inspired some big stars in later years.

"Jim Carrey had his hair like that in Dumb and Dumber.  Maybe he inspired the Beatles,” says Janet Rose. 

Because of Ish Kabibble's knack for comedy, the North East party goers also had a joke telling contest. Trophies were presented to the best and worst joke. 

Ish Kabibble was born in 1908.  His real name was Merwyn Bogue. According to his autobiography, his family moved to Erie a few months after he was born.  They moved back to North East for a couple of years before moving back to Erie again. He became such a big star, he eventually became a resident of Beverly Hills.  But, it's the people of North East who plan to honor him every year.

"That's our plan,” says Janet Rose.  “We do hope to do it every year on the 19th."

Ish Kabibble's autobiography has many stories about being a child in North East and growing up in Erie.  He also explains how he ended up with that unusual stage name of Ish Kabibble.