Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Great Jewish Comedians: Al Shaw and Sam Lee


Do you remember going to a vaudeville show? Neither do we. But it was especially popular in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s, when radio, and later television made vaudeville obsolete.

But during the 50 years of its existence, people flocked to the more than 5,000 vaudeville theaters all over the USA.What they saw was a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill. Typical shows included popular and classical musicians, singers, dancers, comedians, trained animals, magicians, strongmen, female and male impersonators, acrobats, and jugglers. Vaudeville served as the model for TV variety shows, like The Ed Sullivan Show.

Comedians were central to vaudeville and TV variety shows. And many, if not most of them, were Jewish. In our series on the great Jewish comedians, we previously profiled Al Shean of the team of Gallagher and Shean, and Smith and Dale as popular comedy duos in the 1920s. 

Another example of this genre were Al Shaw and Sam Lee (born Albert Schultzman and Samuel Levy). Here's a video of Shaw and Lee doing their vaudeville shtick in the fading days of vaudeville as TV variety shows were just getting started. The singer introducing them is Robert Alda, father of Alan Alda.

Enjoy!

A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.


1 comment: