Today is the birthday of Jules Vernon (1867 – 1937). Vernon was an Oxford educated music hall and vaudeville performer who specialized in ventriloquism. His act consisted of him interacting with seven different dummies simultaneously, rapidly and abruptly switching from character to character. In 1920 he lost his eyesight, although he continued to perform for several years, using a hidden black thread to guide him around the stage.
For more on vaudeville history, 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