Hoofer Leonard Reed and the Champ Mr. Joe Louis Do a Two Act
Today is the birthday of Star of Vaudeville #101, the great dancer Leonard Reed (for my full bio on the inventor of the shim sham shimmy, go here). I have no clips of him dancing, but in this segment from the Ed Sullivan show you can see something rarer: Reed doing a comedy cross-talk act with boxer Joe Louis:
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.