Stars of Vaudeville #487: Evans and Hoey

I can’t help noticing that this gentleman is carrying a hot stove

Originally posted in 2010

Today is the birthday of Charles E. “Charlie” Evans (1856-1945). He got his start in the rough-and-tumble minstrel/ saloon variety scene of Lower Manhattan in the 1870s, playing the usual assortment of blackface, Irish and “Dutch” characters.  For a time he was teamed with a comedian named James Niles, then the two joined forces with Bryant and Hoey to form a “comedy four”.  “Hoey” was William or Billy “Old Hoss” Hoey (lots of cool information on him here).

In 1882, Evans and Hoey dropped their original partners and developed a risque comedy sketch called “the Book Agent”. They hired two pretty girls to sing and dance in the act (the “French Twin Sisters”) and ended up marrying them. In 1884, with the help of prolific playwright Charles H. Hoyt, the expanded their vaudeville turn into a full length show called “A Parlor Match”, which ran in Lower Manhattan until 1893. After this, there were several successful musical versions on Broadway. When Hoey passed away in 1897, Evans continued acting in Broadway shows, and later in Hollywood movies.

To learn more about the history of vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.


And please check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Mediaalso available from etc etc etc



2 Responses to “Stars of Vaudeville #487: Evans and Hoey”

  1. Have you ever heard of a romantic connection between William “Old Hoss” Hoey & May Lilian Levey, of the 3 Sisters Levey, who went on tour in 1890/91 with Hoey & Evans in ‘A Parlor Match’?

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