Born in 1919, Illinous native Clyde “Tiny” Hicks got with it in 1945 when he joined the Standard Shows in Wyoming as a fat man”. Claims about his weight ranged from over 500 lbs to a whopping 762. Later, he worked for Ringling Bros. sideshow, and for Ward Hall at Madison Square Garden and regional tours. Hall reported he couldn’t get Tiny to take any bookings in the South under the superstitious belief that the South was “no good for fat shows” (he’d once had a minor brush with the law there). Tiny was a fixture in the sideshow world for 20 years before retiring to his hometown in Warren, Illinois.
To learn about the history of vaudeville, 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 my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc