Gracie Allen and The Greatest Thing Ever
Today is the birthday of one of America’s greatest comedians, Gracie Allen (see my full Burns and Allen post here). The “greatest thing ever” is this clip, a Vitaphone recording of their vaudeville sketch “Lamb Chops”. If someone were to ask me what vaudeville means to me, what I love about vaudeville, and what sums up the vaudevillian spirit, I would show them this clip. When I first saw it projected by Ron Hutchison at the Film Forum, I nearly wept, I find it that touching and beautiful — in addition to being very funny.
To learn more about the roots of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.