The two man comedy dance act of Stump and Stumpy, 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 Corporal 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 Theater (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. You can see the team at the peak of their hilarious form here.
To find out more about vaudeville performers like Stump and Stumpy 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.