Today is the birthday of Star of Vaudeville #390: Imogene Coca (for more on her life and career go here). She actually figures into my new book Chain of Fools, by virtue of the pantomime bits she and Sid Caesar used to do on Your Show of Shows. Here’s the tail end of one of ’em…they play two musicians in an orchestra performing The 1812 Overture who resort to actual explosives for the climax:
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.