Irrepressible Imogene Coca

The Blog of Funny Names

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Wacky Imogene Coca (1908-2001) may be best remembered for playing opposite Sid Caesar in Your Show of Shows, which ran Saturday nights on NBC from 1950 to 1954. However, folks under 60 may remember her as Aunt Jenny on The Brady Bunch or the patently annoying Aunt Edna on the cinematic triumph, National Lampoon’s Vacation.


Originally deemed Emogeane, she was born in Philadelphia to José Fernandez de Coca, a violinist and vaudeville band leader, and Sadie Brady Coca, a dancer who also performed in a magician’s act. SADIE BRADY COCA. Awesome.

“I began as one of those horrible little children who sing with no voice,” Coca said of her early training. By the time she was 13, however, she found herself tap dancing, somersaulting, and dancing ballet. She got her first job in the chorus of the Broadway musical When You Smile, and later went on to win the second-ever Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding…

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