I’m doing this post on a dare, a sort of challenge. I really know very little of Mr. Roth save a handful of MTV videos and singles from the years 1984 and 1985 when I was still very much paying attention to such things. In what ways he is a vaudevillian, I cannot presume to say. Like most (not all) vaudevillians, he has two eyes, a mouth, a nose, hair, wears funny hats, sings (sort of), and is Jewish. Beyond this, your guess is as good as mine. I think I might have an easier time making vaudevillians out of Alice Cooper, Kiss, or Marilyn Manson, but then, well, it wouldn’t be a challenge, would it?
If you have some ideas, please write in, although not too much.
Why don’t we let Mr. Roth speak for himself, in the most vaudevillian of songs I am aware of in his repertoire, and a video I once considered quite comical:
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.