Stars of Vaudeville #817: Larry Weeks


Today is the birthday of the great juggler Lester “Larry” Weeks (b. 1919). Weeks is one of the very few bridges between the original vaudeville business and the phenomenon of “New Vaudeville” that emerged decades later. As a kid he grew up attended (and later performing in) local vaudeville theatres in the Bronx. His big shot came in Irving Berlin’s Broadway show and movie This is the Army, a rally-the-home-front extravaganza during World War II in which Weeks had a show-stopping number juggling potatoes while on K.P.


After the war he continued to tour with the USO and then played nightclubs and put on special shows in New York City schools. From 1966 to 1979, he produced the quarterly Big Apple Convention, which featured full-on vaudeville shows, lectures by magicians, film clips of old acts, and vendor tables selling magic equipment. This of course is the link to New Vaudeville and the present. The Big Apple shows were an opportunity for younger generations of performers to meet old timers and learn from them, and to ply their trade before new audiences, some of whom might be inspired to carry on the tradition themselves — just as Larry had been back in the 1920s.

From what I understand he’s still with us. Check out the Daily News‘ coverage of his 90th birthday four years ago here. 

To find out more about vaudeville past and presentconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famousavailable 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 etc etc etc


3 Responses to “Stars of Vaudeville #817: Larry Weeks”

  1. Thanks for the article,how’s your book coming? Miss hearing from you. Les

  2. Hi, Les wanted me to thank you for all your emails and thank you for keeping in touch. He can’t see now as his one good eye developed wet macular and now he’s going for shots once a month. Hopefully he’ll be able to see after his third shot which he’ll get into the eye and it’s supposed to help. I’ll keep you posted , JO

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: