Entertainment History

F.W. Murnau, Director of the Nosferatu

Murnau is most well known for directing the first vampire film, but the German-born creator went on to make a number of influential films before his early death.

Sylvia of Hollywood – Beauty Consultant to the Stars

In the 1920s and 1930s, Sylvia was famous for shaping up starlets, cementing the idea that Hollywood’s beauties were aspirational figures for the average woman. Many of Sylvia's ideas about fitness were totally sensible, but she could also be quite harsh
 

Godzilla: The Start of His Story

When Godzilla first hit the big screen, there was no intention that it would launch a film franchise that would run for decades. Director Ishiro Honda intended to make a film warning of the dangers of nuclear testing and man's relationship with nature. 

Stop-motion Animation History With LAIKA Studios

Holly recently got to visit the set of LAIKA's new film "Missing Link," and the production team there agreed to be part of an episode about the history of stop-motion animation. This made for a supersized episode with a regular discussion of the topic, plus interviews with four members of the LAIKA team. 

Fanny Brice, Part 2

Comedian Fanny Brice's personal life was often a mess even though her onstage personas were all about laughter. Even as her beloved, Nick Arnstein, was in deep legal trouble, she supported him, started a family, and kept her career going. 

Fanny Brice, Part 1

Fanny made a space for herself on stage as a comedian because she felt she could never be pretty enough to be an actress. And her personal life was a complete roller coaster. But she remains the original funny girl, making awkward her brand from the time she was a teenager.



A Brief History of Ballet, Pt. 2

In the first part of this two-parter, we covered ballet’s origins and early evolution. We left off with the founding of the Academie Royale de Musique, and the ways Jean-Baptiste Lully worked to ensure that his academy had as much prestige as possible.  

A Brief History of Ballet, Pt. 1

For a long time, there was no formalized dance in western culture. Eventually, court performers in Europe were asked to also teach their audiences how to dance, blending the worlds of performance and social dancing, and creating a new art form.

SYMHC Live: The USO and Bob Hope

This show, performed live at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, covers a brief overview of USO history, and then delves into Bob Hope's involvement with the organization, which started in the early 1940s and continued for 50 years. 

Dwight Frye

If you don’t know Dwight Frye by name, you’ve probably seen one or two of his performances. He was one of the lesser-known horror actors that helped make the genre Universal’s great success of the 1930s, but he also had a successful Broadway career.