no reason to doubt him , I wonder how foreign speakers in the audience understood the jokes , which were delivered rapidly and often rested on puns . In reading these jokes ... What did they make of vaudeville's pervasive blue humor ?
Author: Paul M Levitt
Publisher: SIU Press
Vaudeville Humor: The Collected Jokes, Routines, and Skits of Ed Lowry contains vaudeville jokes, skits, and routines from the first three decades of the twentieth century originally compiled by comedian Ed Lowry (1896– 1983). Although occasionally found in bits and pieces in anthologies and in some period dramatic comedies, vaudeville humor has never before been available in one collection— performers rarely if ever kept a record of their jokes and routines. Fortunately, Ed Lowry was an inveterate collector. He kept copious notebooks of jokes and routines that he not only commissioned but also stole from other comics, clipped from newspapers, and copied from now defunct popular magazines of the day. Editor Paul M. Levitt has reorganized the material into categories that preserve some of the flavor of Lowry’ s scrapbooks yet provide for finer distinctions. Part one, “ Jokes,” is organized by subject matter and cataloged by genre, dialects, and wordplay. From “ Accidents” to “ Work,” this exhaustive catalog of humor features over one thousand jokes with topics that range from city slickers and country hicks through midgets and old maids to Swedes and tattoos. Part two, “ MC Material: Biz, Jokes, Routines, and Skits” is germane to the job of master of ceremonies, routines, and skits. It features topics from fractured fairy tales to stuttering. Part three, an appendix, “ Ed Lowry Laffter,” reproduces a privately published collection that is now a rare collector’ s item. “ Although some of the jokes can undoubtedly be found in other places,” explains Levitt in his introduction, “ I know of no source as rich as this one for the twenties and thirties, a period so abundant in humor that for years afterward it fueled radio, cinema, and television.”
It truly was vaudeville comedy with “something for everyone.” If one type of comedy did not please, another was soon to be on the way. Groucho Marx, along with other performers like Mae West, Will Rogers, and Bert Williams—who are ...
Author: Rick DesRochers
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Category: Social Science
The Comic Offense from Vaudeville to Contemporary Comedy examines how contemporary writer/performers are influenced by the comedic vaudevillians of the early 20th century. By tracing the history and legacy of the vaudeville era and performance acts, like the Marx Brothers and The Three Keatons, and moving through the silent and early sound films of the early 1930s, the author looks at how comic writer/performers continue to sell a brand of themselves as a form of social commentary in order to confront and dispel stereotypes of race, class, and gender. The first study to explore contemporary popular comic culture and its influence on American society from this unique perspective, Rick DesRochers analyzes stand-up and improvisational comedy writing/performing in the work of Larry David, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Dave Chappelle. He grounds these choices by examining their evolution as they developed signature characters and sketches for their respective shows Curb Your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and Chappelle's Show.
On the whole, vaudeville humor tended to be verbal, finding its most effective expression in words rather than gestures. To compare vaudeville in this respect to the legitimate stage is to take note of its slapstick and rough-and-tumble ...
Author: Albert F. McLeanJr.
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
This study affords an entirely new view of the nature of modern popular entertainment. American vaudeville is here regarded as the carefully elaborated ritual serving the different and paradoxical myth of the new urban folk. It demonstrates that the compulsive myth-making faculty in man is not limited to primitive ethnic groups or to serious art, that vaudeville cannot be dismissed as meaningless and irrelevant simply because it fits neither the criteria of formal criticsm or the familiar patterns of anthropological study. Using the methods for criticism developed by Susanne K. Langer and others, the author evaluates American vaudeville as a symbolic manifestation of basic values shared by the American people during the period 1885-1930. By examining vaudeville as folk ritual, the book reveals the unconscious symbolism basic to vaudeville-in its humor, magic, animal acts, music, and playlets, and also in the performers and the managers—which gave form to the dominant American myth of success. This striking view of the new mass man as a folk and of his mythology rooted in the very empirical science devoted to dispelling myth has implications for the serious study of all forms of mass entertainment in America. The book is illustrated with a number of striking photographs.
As a vaudeville single , Rogers used more homespun humor in his act . In his early vaudeville days , Rogers had made offhand remarks while doing his rope tricks . Now he relied increasingly on comic patter in his routine .
Author: Will Rogers
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
This third volume of The Papers of Will Rogers documents the evolution of Rogers's vaudeville career as well as the newlywed life of Will and Betty Blake Rogers and the birth of their children. During these years, the Rogerses moved to New York City, and after many years of performing with Buck McKee and horse Teddy, Rogers began a solo act in vaudeville as a talking, roping cowboy. He appeared on the same playbill with such performers as Fred Stone, Eddie Cantor, and Houdini, and his stage career expanded to include an appearance in the Broadway musical comedy "The Wall Street Girl." Volume Three ends with Rogers's successful transition from vaudeville to Broadway, on the brink of his breakthrough as a star of the Ziegfeld Follies.
Lawrence E. Mintz , “ Humor and Ethnic Stereotypes in Vaudeville and Burlesque , ” Melus 21 ( winter 1996 ) : 19–28 , summarizes major interpretations succinctly . Of the ethnic groups in vaudeville , the significant studies are of Jews ...
Author: Robert M. Lewis
Publisher: JHU Press
Before phonographs and moving pictures, live performances dominated American popular entertainment. Carnivals, circuses, dioramas, magicians, mechanical marvels, musicians, and theatrical troupes—all visited rural fairgrounds, small-town opera houses, and big-city palaces around the country, giving millions of people an escape from their everyday lives for a dime or a quarter. In From Traveling Show to Vaudeville, Robert M. Lewis has assembled a remarkable collection of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century primary sources that document America's age of theatrical spectacle. In eight parts, Lewis explores, in turn, dime museums, minstrelsy, circuses, melodramas, burlesque shows, Wild West shows, amusement parks, and vaudeville. Included in this compendium are biographies, programs, ephemera produced by theatrical entrepreneurs to lure audiences to their shows, photographs, scripts, and song lyrics as well as newspaper accounts, reviews, and interviews with such figures as P. T. Barnum and Buffalo Bill Cody. Lewis also gives us reminiscences about and reactions to various shows by members of audiences, including such prominent writers as Mark Twain, William Dean Howells, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Carl Sandburg, Walt Whitman, Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, O. Henry, and Maxim Gorky. Each section also includes a concise introduction that places the genre of spectacle into its historical and cultural context and suggests major interpretive themes. The book closes with a bibliographic essay that identifies relevant scholarly works. Many of the pieces collected here have not been published since their first appearance, making From Traveling Show to Vaudeville an indispensable resource for historians of popular culture, theater, and nineteenth-century American society.
Even though a gentleman on a wild night might frequent vaudeville, the ladies of the bourgeoisie definitely did not. Humor played an important role in vaudeville. While song, dance, magical tricks and juggling were also included, ...
Author: Giselinde Kuipers
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
This is an updated edition of Good Humor, Bad Taste: A Sociology of the Joke, published in 2006. Using a combination of interview materials, survey data, and historical materials, it explores the relationship between humor and gender, age, social class, and national differences in the Netherlands and the United States. This edition includes new developments and research findings in the field of humor studies.
Vaudeville theater had opened in cities such as Boston, Chicago and even out west in San Francisco. It was the ideal place in which to sing and/or perform comedy, and both music and humor were (and remain) staples of Jewish life and ...
Author: Stewart F. Lane
Category: Performing Arts
Fanny Brice, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Barbra Streisand, Alan Menken, Stephen Sondheim—Jewish performers, composers, lyricists, directors, choreographers and producers have made an indelible mark on Broadway for more than a century. Award-winning producer Stewart F. Lane chronicles the emergence of Jewish American theater, from immigrants producing Yiddish plays in the ghettos of New York’s Lower East Side to legendary performers staging massive shows on Broadway. In its expanded second edition, this historical survey includes new information and photographs, along with insights and anecdotes from a life in the theater.
Vaudeville's ethnic humor shares this linguistic preoccupation. Clowning with language is, of course, a universal aspect of comedy; it is not difficult to find other situations where dialect-driven ethnic jokes provide an important ...
Author: Gavin Jones
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Category: Literary Criticism
"[Jones] links obscure forays into dialectology with familiar canonical works of literature in surprising and innovative ways. He also has some astute insights into the politics of language in this country—a topic as current now as it was during the period about which he writes."—Shelly Fisher Fishkin, University of Texas, Austin
Before its demise, however, vaudeville reflected more than any other humorous mode the ethnic diversity of urban America. As Wertheim notes, “vaudeville comedy routines were far different from the homespun humor of the comic Yankee and ...
Author: Nancy A. Walker
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Critical studies attempting to define and dissect American humor have been published steadily for nearly one hundred years. However, until now, key documents from that history have never been brought together in a single volume for students and scholars. What's So Funny? Humor in American Culture, a collection of 15 essays, examines the meaning of humor and attempts to pinpoint its impact on American culture and society, while providing a historical overview of its progres-sion. Essays from Nancy Walker and Zita Dresner, Joseph Boskin and Joseph Dorinson, William Keough, Roy Blount, Jr., and others trace the development of American humor from the colonial period to the present, focusing on its relationship with ethnicity, gender, violence, and geography. An excellent reader for courses in American studies and American social and cultural history, What's So Funny? explores the traits of the American experience that have given rise to its humor.
Both NBC and CBS also banned jokes about prohibition for its duration. And even though the Eighteenth Amendment was ... 14 Theatrical historian Albert F. McLean Jr. characterizes vaudeville humor as “more excited, more aggressive, ...
Author: Robert Pondillo
Publisher: SIU Press
Category: Performing Arts
America’s First Network TV Censor: The Work of NBC’s Stockton Helffrichis a unique examination of early television censorship, centered around the papers of Stockton Helffrich, the first manager of the censorship department at NBC. Set against the backdrop of postwar America and contextualized by myriad primary sources including original interviews and unpublished material, Helffrich’s reports illustrate how early censorship of advertising, language, and depictions of sex, violence, and race shaped the new medium. While other books have cited Helffrich’s reports, none have considered them as a body of work, complemented by the details of Helffrich’s life and the era in which he lived. America’s First Network TV Censor explores the ways in which Helffrich’s personal history and social class influenced his perception of his role as NBC-TV censor and his tendency to ignore certain political and cultural taboos while embracing others. Author Robert Pondillo considers Helffrich’s life in broadcasting before and after the Second World War, and his censorial work in the context of 1950s American culture and emerging network television. Pondillo discusses the ways that cultural phenomena, including the arrival of the mid-twentieth-century religious boom, McCarthyism, the dawn of the Civil Rights era, and the social upheaval over sex, music, and youth, contributed to a general sense that the country was morally adrift and ripe for communist takeover. Five often-censored subjects—advertising, language, and depictions of sex, violence, and race—are explored in detail, exposing the surprising complexity and nuance of early media censorship. Questions of whether too many sadistic westerns would coarsen America’s children, how to talk about homosexuality without using the word “homosexuality,” and how best to advertise toilet paper without offending people were on Helffrich’s mind; his answers to these questions helped shape the broadcast media we know today.