Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Al Shean (born Abraham Elieser Adolph Schonberg) was half of the vaudeville comedy team Gallagher and Shean with Edward Gallagher. Both comedians were relatively obscure vaudeville performers before they teamed up.
Gallagher and Shean first joined forces during the tour of The Rose Maid in 1912, but they quarreled and split up two years later. They next appeared together in 1920, through the efforts of Shean's sister, Minnie Marx (mother of the Marx Brothers). This pairing lasted until 1925 and led to their fame.
Gallagher and Shean remain best known for their theme song Mister Gallagher and Mister Shean, which was a hit in the 1922 Ziegfeld Follies. In 1941 the song was featured in the movie Ziegfeld Girl starring James Stewart, Judy Garland, and Hedy Lamarr. Since Gallagher died in 1929, his role was played by Charles Winninger.
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