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Vaudeville

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Kermit-Vaudeville
Song.tenterrificgirls

"Take Ten Terrific Girls"

BBSnuffyVaudeville2

Snuffy and Bird doing shtick.

Song.fuzzyblueorange

"Fuzzy and Blue (and Orange)"

Vaudeville was a form of theatrical entertainment popular in the United States of America and Canada in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Its popularity peaked in the 1920s with the popularity of both radio and motion pictures, and it faded from the American landscape. Vaudeville, unlike Broadway Musicals, was composed of a series of unrelated acts grouped together onto a single billing performance. An evening's show could be an amalgamation of comedians, animal acts, magicians, female and male impersonators, acrobats, musicians, dancers, and more.

The most popular form of entertainment in America for many years, vaudeville played mostly in a series of Vaudville Houses owned by a single corporation, such as the Orpheum or Pantages Circuits. One of those houses became The Muppet Theater. ‘’The Muppet Show’’ has much of its foundation in Vaudeville, with comedy bits ranging from Blackouts, to comedy skits like “Veterinarian's Hospital”. Even the practice of yanking acts off stage with a giant cane found its way into Muppet productions, such as with Robin attempting to sing "They Call the Wind Maria," and Mary Louise's Muppet Show auditions.

The Muppets have also performed many songs which were staples of the circuit, including “For Me and My Gal”, “Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay”, and “The Bird on Nellie's Hat”. Many of their earliest television appearances were on shows with their roots on the Vaudeville stage as well, including ‘’The Ed Sullivan Show’’.

Many of the most popular entertainers of the twentieth century began their careers in Vaudeville. Bob Hope, George Burns, Señor Wences, Edgar Bergen, Milton Berle, Buddy Rich, Chet O'Brien, Pearl Bailey, The Three Stooges, and The Marx Brothers all got their starts playing the circuit, many at a very young age.

References

The Muppet Show

Sesame Street

  • Another Big Bird and Snuffy segment features them on the vaudeville stage, identifying S words and telling gum-wrapper jokes. (EKA: Episode 2499)
  • Vaudeville duo Herman Happy and Stanley Sad sing a song about how they live up to their names in animated segments on Sesame Street. (EKA: Episode 3060)
  • In another animated Sesame Street segment A vaudeville act of two SAME people ends when one of them falls off the stage. (EKA: Episode 2893)
  • The characters Chet and Snooks are nods to old-time vaudeville comedy teams.

Other references

  • The Great Doc is the great-great-uncle of Doc on Fraggle Rock, and was a vaudeville magician, who toured the country, playing such theaters as the Victoria and the Schubert.

Stage hook

A common trope that has developed in popular culture involving a bad performer being pulled off stage by a shepherd's crook is usually attributed to Vaudeville.

See also

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