Today is the birthday of British music hall comedian Wilkie Bard (1874-1944). He was just over 20 when he debuted with “Never ‘ave a Lodger for a Pal”. He appeared most often in a very clownish get-up with a band wig and two large circles for eye brows. He also appeared in drag sometimes as a pantomime dame. Numbers he was associated with included “I Want to Sing in Opera” and “The Night Watchman” He played American vaudeville a few times, playing Hammerstein’s Victoria in 1913, and Palace Theatre in 1919 and 1923, followed by a national tour.
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.