"Erah, erah" - Kennedy impersonations

A question that, IMHO, isn’t quite serious enough for GQ, but not quite artistic enough for Cafe Society.

Whenever someone does an impersonation of a Kennedy, whether it’s Ted or one of the others in the klan, they usually drop several random instances of “erah, erah” into it. As an example, here’s what a portion of the “I am a Berliner!” speech would sound like, if performed by some comedian trying to imitate JEK:

*There are many people in the world erah erah who really don’t understand erah, or say they don’t, erah,what is the great issue between the free world erah, and the Communist world erah erah. Let them come to, erah, Berlin. There are some who say that communism, erah erah, is the wave of the future, erah. Let them, erah erah, come to Berlin. *

What’s the deal with the “erahs?” I never heard a Kennedy speak like this. There’s a bit of a Boston accent, sure, but they don’t litter their speech with “erahs” the way someone from Cheektowaga would inject “dat der” before every noun.

My impression is that JFK did do the “erah” noise when speaking extemporaneously. So far, the only mp3s on the web I’ve found are from prepared speeches with notes, so I can’t prove this.

It could be that it’s just to give the impressionist a handle on the voice, or give the audience a handle on the character. Similar to the way an impressionist will say, “Judy, Judy, Judy!” when imitating Cary Grant or “You dirty rat,” when doing James Cagney, even though neither actor ever said those exact lines in a motion picture.

Much as I am NOT a Kennedy fan, I think you mean “clan”.


Eram, I meant clan with a C, erah.

Seriously, did any of the Kennedys ever say “erah, erah” repeatedly in their speech?

I found someone offering to sell CDs of JFK on political interview shows, but I’m not spending the money. If the OP is that interested, go for it.

I’ve been hearing “erah” for years because of Howard Stern’s impersonation of Ted, anytime he does him. For me, Ted’s voice is cued by using…erah…