Stars of Vaudville #139: Frank Tinney
Today is the birthday of vaudeville and Broadway comedian Frank Tinney (1878-1940). His shtick was to tell the corniest of jokes, implicating others (bandleaders, fellow performers, audience members) in the crime by dragging them onstage and making them the feeder. To make it more bizarre, he did this act in blackface (without accent) for most of his career. A drunkard and womanizer, his career ended in the 1920s after a scandal, else there might have been a cinematic record and he’d be better known today.
To find out more about these variety artists and 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.