Danny Thomas on Berle

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Today is the birthday of Danny Thomas (for my full article on this great American entertainer go here). In honor of the day here’s a swell clip from the Berle show. The influence of Jolson on Thomas in this clip is obvious…and if you think about it, truly bizarre. A Lebanese guy singing about “Dixie”? No weirder, I guess, then when Harpo Marx played an Irishman…

To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. And don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, to be released by Bear Manor Media in 2013.

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