The Wiere Brothers
In another of their oft-recounted routines, the three come out as a string trio. Herbert keeps trying to play serious music, but the brothers keep cutting up with hillbilly playing. Finally, in consternation , Herbert gives up and balances his violin on his chin. Harry, sees and responds by balancing his guitar on his chin. Sylvester, who is playing an enormous bass fiddle seems to be in a pickle. There is a long pause as the audience observes his struggle. Finally, the payoff–as he too balances his instrument on his chin.
Of their half dozen or so movie performances perhaps the best known is in The Road to Rio (1947) with Hope and Crosby. They briefly had their own tv series Oh, Those Bells! in 1962, directed by Jules White (cancelled after 13 episodes). Some of their last appearances included Double Trouble in 1967 with Elvis Presley, and a 1969 shot on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in. The act disbanded after Sylvester passed away in 1970. They actually have their own web site! Go to wierebrothers.com for more info.
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.