The Comedy Team of Yorke and Adams

Some fragments on the forgotten vaudeville, burlesque, and musical comedy team of Gus Yorke (1861-1939) and Nick Adams. Billed as “Hebrew comedians”, Yorke and Adams appear to have started out in New York and to have performed with Weber and Fields road companies as subs for the comedians in their early years. Their big moment appears to have happened with the Broadway hit Bankers and Brokers (1905) in which they played characters named “Plonsky” and “Pincus”. This was followed up by a short-lived and critically-panned show called Playing the Ponies (1908).

By the mid teens the team had broken up (at any rate, Adams appears to have vanished from the scene). Yorke was with the London production of Potash and Perlmutter and then appeared in three British silent comedies: The Tailor of Bond Street (1916), A Just Deception (1917), and The Grit of a Jew (1917). His last major credit was the 1926 Broadway show Glory Hallelujah (1926) with Lee Tracy, Charles Bickford, and Allen Jenkins.

To learn more about vaudeville and burlesque, 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.