As a young boy, my friends and I would greet each other on occasion with an exuberant "How do you doooooooo?" What's more, we always did so in our best fake foreign accents. We had all heard our older siblings, uncles, fathers, actors, comedians, and cartoon characters utter this very phrase. However, none of us knew where said phrase came from. Heck.. I've wondered where the phrase originated from for most of my life. Now.. thirty some odd years later, I finally put two and two together and figured out the mystery.
One of my favorite XM Satellite radio stations is Radio Classics, which plays old time radio shows non stop. While listening to one of my favorite shows called Duffy's Tavern.. a character whom bar patrons referred to as The Mad Russian, uttered "How do you Dooooooooo?" as he entered the bar, bring an instantaneous roar of laughter from the audience. It was during the shows closing credits, that I learned the part of The Mad Russian was played by actor Bert Gordon.
Gordon broke onto the Vaudeville scene in 1914, and got into performing in radio during the 1930's. He appeared throughout the early 40's in both films and radio as his character "The Mad Russian." The actor's character was known for his "steel wool" haircut, ears that wiggled, and of course his famous catch phrases, "How do you do" and "Do you mean it?". Gordon's tag lines and likeness even appeared in several Warner Bros. cartoons of the period such as the Bugs Bunny cartoon Hare Ribbin'. Gordon's career was all but over by 1950, and his last filmed appearance was in a 1964 episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show in which he played himself.
So there you have it my friends.. a brief insight into the phrase "How Do you Dooooo?" Next time you hear this obscure phrase (and believe me.. someday you will) you can share some insight on the matter with anyone that happens to be within earshot!