Dusty Fletcher: “Open the Door, Richard”


Clinton “Dusty” Fletcher (1897-1954) is best known for the comedy routine, song and film “Open the Door, Richard”, which Bob Dylan further immortalized by making it the refrain of one of the songs on The Basement Tapes (which for some mysterious reason is called  “Open the Door, Homer” even though he sings it as “Richard”). Fletcher started out in black vaudeville and appeared in prominent black revues all through the 20s and 30s, with such performers as Mamie Smith, Tim Moore, Moms Mabley, Ethel Waters, et al, and appeared in the occasional motion picture as well, such as the famous 1933 short Rufus Jones for President and Boarding House Blues (1948). He is widely acknowledged as a major influence on such later comedians as Pigmeat Markham and Flip Wilson.

To find out more about  the history of vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.


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