Joe Yule, Father of Satan

Satan is of course, Mickey Rooney, aka Joe Yule, Jr. The father is of course Joe Yule (Ninnian Joseph Ewell, 1892-1950). Joe the Elder was born in Glasgow and emigrated to the U.S. when still an infant. He grew up in Brooklyn, started working in local vaudeville theatres as a teenager, and then the big burlesque wheels. He was married to vaudeville performer Nellie Carter for five years (1919-24).

Yule’s film career began a good decade after his famous son’s. Starting in 1936 he became a bit player in films like The Great Ziegfeld (1936), Idiot’s Delight (1939), Boom Town (1940), the Marx Brothers’ Go West (1940), a few of the Maisie films, Panama Hattie (1942), Laurel and Hardy’s Air Raid Wardens (1943) and Nothing But Trouble (1944), Red Skelton’s I Dood It (1943) and Bathing Beauty (1944), The Picture of Dorian Gray (1946) and The Mighty McGurk (1947). At the end of his life he got a sweet reward: the role of Jiggs, in a series of Jiggs and Maggie movies: Bringing Up Father (1946), Jiggs and Maggie in Society (1947), Jiggs and Maggie in Court (1948), Jiggs and Maggie in Jackpot Jitters (1949), and Jiggs and Maggie Out West (1950). In all, he amassed 72 film credits over a 14 year period.

To learn more about vaudeville, please see No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, and for more on classic comedy, please read Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube