Stars of Vaudeville #178: Stump and Stumpy
Updated from a 2010 post.
This two man comedy dance act, big in nightclubs, radio, television and films in the 40s and 50s, was a tremendous influence on many other performers, including Martin and Lewis, and Larry Storch, who had a night club act prior to his best known role as Cpl. Agarn on F Troop. Originally consisting of James “Stump” Cross (whose birthday it is today) and Eddie “Stumpy” Hartman,the team started out on the all-black vaudeville circuits before debuting at the Apollo Theatre (where they became a staple for decades) in 1938.
Harold Cromer (himself already a show biz veteran) replaced Eddie Hartman as “Stumpy” in the late 40s. Harold continued performing long after Cross dropped out — his last movie was 1984′s The Cotton Club. He passed away ten days ago; see a post about it here.
To find out about the history 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.
And check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc