Vaudeville

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.



Julian Eltinge, Greatest of All Impersonators of Women

Eltinge was one of the highest-paid and most famous actors of the early 20th century, and acted alongside Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Rudolph Valentino. What made him famous was his skill at female impersonation.

Winsor McCay, Part 2

Even as his career in comics was at its zenith, Winsor McCay continued to explore other business ventures for his art. He added vaudeville performances to his busy schedule, and then became an animation pioneer. 

Mary Alice Nelson, aka Molly Spotted Elk

Molly was born on Indian Island, Maine, and she turned to dance to help her family make ends meet. But because audiences and companies in the U.S. pushed her toward stereotypical depictions of Native Americans, she eventually took her dancing to France.

How Charlie Chaplin Worked

Charlie Chaplin is perhaps best known for his portrayal of 'The Tramp,' a character with raggedy clothes and a heart of gold. But who was the real Charlie Chaplin? Learn more about one of the most influential actors of silent film in this podcast.

In a follow-up to the earlier episode on the history of vaudeville, Katie and Sarah take a closer look at some of the most memorable vaudevillians. Listen in and learn more about everyone from the Marx brothers to Winsor McCay in this episode.

Vaudeville flourished from the late 19th century into the Depression era. It was one of America's most famous forms of entertainment at the time. Tune in as Katie and Sarah take a look at this family-friendly variety show from America's bygone days.

Harry Houdini, Master Mystifier

Once known as the world's greatest magician, Harry Houdini's reputation still resonates with modern fans of illusion and magic. Join Katie and Sarah as they explore the fact -- and fiction -- surrounding the spectacular Harry Houdini in this episode.