Bawdy/Blue/Vaudville/Burlesque comedy acts

I am going to be auditioning for the role of a burlesk mc for a local (KC) burlesque act.

Can anyone point me in the direction of acts I should learn from timing, how to act the part, material i might want to listen or read for inspiration, films on the subject!

Please let me know


Try this thread.

One pretty good source that oughta be easy enough to find . . .

Go out and rent some Bette Midler concert videos. Hell, if you’re seriously into this kinda thing, go out and buy them- and study them.

Of course, Midler fans already know where I’m going with this, I’m directing you towards Midler’s Sophie Tucker character (yes, there was also a real life performer named Sophie Tucker). As Sophie, Midler recounts stories always revolving around Sophie, her boyfriend Ernie, and her best friend Clementine. Classic bawdy comedy kinda stuff. I think most of the material is made up of standard stock jokes, so feel free for practice purposes to steal the jokes, tell them to your friends to see if you can tell them as well as she does.

and my all-time favorite . . .

Incredibly ancient gag, possibly of burlesque provenance:

DOCTOR: Nurse! Nurse! Do we have any corn starch?

NURSE: Certainly, Doctor! Walk this way! [crosses stage in a knees-tight-together walk]

DOCTOR: If I could walk that way, I wouldn’t need the corn starch!

Look at The Sunshine Boys. The vaudeville sketch in the movie is quite similar to real sketches by such artists as Smith and Dale. They did the “Dr. Kronkite” sketch with jokes just as bad as you can imagine:

Some early talkie shorts have just been released on DVD. Obviously, they will not be “blue,” but they might give you some flavor of the period and the acts.

Nitpick: You would never have seen a blue or bawdy skit in a show – it was strictly family entertainment. [url=]Burlesque was a kind of spinoff form.

See the musical Rose, aka Gypsy, about the life of Gypsy Rose Lee. Mama Rose spends years trying to launch her daughter Louise’ career in Vaudeville, with intermittent success. Finally they are reduced to working a burlesque show. One of the strippers: “Vaudeville! Everybody knows there ain’t no Vaudeville no more except burlesque!”

A throwoff line in a musical is a cite? You were right in the first place. Shoulda left it alone.

Real cites on the evolution and devolution of vaudeville and burlesque and the relation between can be found in No Applause–Just Throw Money : The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, by Trav S.D.