Today is the birthday of Yvonne and Yvette McCarther (1949-1992). Born joined at the top of the head, it was predicted that they would be unable to walk and that they would both be mentally challenged. Neither would prove to be the case (in fact, it was determined that they had above average intelligence, which leads me to wonder if Kurt Vonnegut had gotten inspiration from them for his novel Slapstick of Another Kind). Only the first six months of their lives were spent in a sideshow; they toured with the Royal American Circus to help pay off their medical bills. Later, however, they did travel around the country and tour as gospel singers. In 1987 they began living on their own, in their own apartment. They passed away on December 15, 1992, and were discovered two weeks later.
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 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