Sam Rice: King of Burlesque

Sam Rice (George O’Hanlon, 1874-1946) was not the only guy to use the handle “King of Burlesque” but his choice to do so revealed a becoming Moxie. Rice produced full on burlesque shows for a time in the early 20th century with a chorus he called his “Daffodil Girls” or “Daffydil Girls”. And for a time he had a two-act in wife with his wife Lulu Beasley. (Their son, also named George O’Hanlon. would become well known for playing Joe McDoakes in movie shorts, and providing the voice of George Jetson in animated cartoons.) In 1932, at the age of 58, Rice began working as an extra in films, appearing in scores of pictures over nearly a decade. Some of his most significant ones came towards the end, such as W.C. Fields’ The Bank Dick (1940) and Orson Welles Citizen Kane (1941).

For more on vaudeville, please consult my book No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous