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Vaudeville Quotes

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"Each couple is its own vaudeville act." - Zadie Smith

"In God's great vaudeville, Mother is the headliner." - Elbert Hubbard

"The world's a stage, & everything else is Vaudeville." - Alan Moore

"George Burns was a Vaudeville performer I particularly loved." - Tom Waits

"Milton took vaudeville, which, if you look up 'vaudeville' in the dictionary, right alongside of it, it says 'Milton Berle' - and he made it just a tremendous party." - Alan King

"With the collapse of vaudeville new talent has no place to stink." - George Burns

"Courts are places where the ending is written first and all that precedes is simply vaudeville." - Charles Bukowski

"His sense of humor is purely cheap vaudeville, yet everyone falls for it." - Lisa Lutz

"If vaudeville had died, television was the box they put it in." - Larry Gelbart

"I do not like vaudeville, but what can I do? It likes me." - Anna Held

"If I was on Broadway, I would want to do anything Vaudeville or a biopic." - Kat Graham

"My mother was in vaudeville, but after she had her children, she quit working." - Dean Stockwell

"Dance, vaudeville, drama, movies - as a child I loved everything that went on in a theater." - James Broughton

"TV-a clever contraction, derived from the words Terrible Vaudeville. We call it a medium, because nothing's well done." - Goodman Ace

"You bet I arrived overnight. Over a few hundred nights in the Catskills, in vaudeville, in clubs and on Broadway." - Danny Kaye

"The idea of vaudeville clowns and court jesters is always to show the flaw, to point out what's not working and why it's not coherent." - John Baldessari

"I wasn't straining at the bit to become a movie star any more than I had plotted to get out of vaudeville and into Broadway musicals" - Ethel Merman

"Election campaigns seem to siphon away political anger and even basic political intelligence into this great vaudeville, after which we all end up in exactly the same place." - Arundhati Roy

"TV - a clever contraction derived from the words Terrible Vaudeville. However, it is our latest medium - we call it a medium because nothing's well done." - Goodman Ace

"Nobody seems to know yet how television is going to affect the radio, movies, love, housekeeping or the church, but it has definitely revived vaudeville." - Edgar Bergen

"For better or worse, I have a lot of vaudeville circus skills that you just can't showcase in Aaron Sorkin's work." - Joshua Malina

"I wasn't straining at the bit to become a movie star any more than I had plotted to get out of vaudeville and into Broadway musicals." - Ethel Merman

"Listen to the great stars of vaudeville or early radio. They sound as good today as they did then. It's timeless; it's ageless." - Joe Franklin

"Touring on 'Folie' was like being the last act at the vaudeville show: We were rotten vegetable targets in clandestine hoods." - Patrick Stump

"There were a great many in vaudeville - people who never quite came through. But they had their place, and they filled it. They kept theatres open. Those pan-timers, those interstate-timers, those four-a-dayers, those six-a-dayers - they were an integral part of that endearing merry-go-round called vaudeville." - Alfred Lunt

"For me, my preference for comedy is grounding it in the psychology of the character, and not just kind of making faces. Even when it's a crazy character, grounded comedy resonates more with people because it doesn't look like you're watching someone do vaudeville. No offense to vaudeville." - Matt Mcgorry

"Vaudeville could not vouch for the honesty, the integrity, or the mentality of the individuals who collectively made up the horde the medium embraced. All the human race demands of its members is that they be born. That is all vaudeville demanded. You just had to be born. You could be ignorant and be a star. You could be a moron and be wealthy. The elements that went to make up vaudeville were combed from the jungles, the four corners of the world, the intelligentsia and the subnormal." - Fred Allen

"Though I soon became typecast in Hollywood as a gangster and hoodlum, I was originally a dancer, an Irish hoofer, trained in vaudeville tap dance. I always leapt at the opportunity to dance in films later on." - James Cagney

"No one says a novel has to be one thing. It can be anything it wants to be, a vaudeville show, the six o'clock news, the mumblings of wild men saddled by demons." - Ishmael Reed

"NOTORIETY, n. The fame of one's competitor for public honors. The kind of renown most accessible and acceptable to mediocrity. A Jacob's-ladder leading to the vaudeville stage, with angels ascending and descending." - Ambrose Bierce

"Look, I come from vaudeville, I come from burlesque, I come from heartaches, I come from sadness, I come from gladness, I come from work and sweat and respect for the craft." - Mickey Rooney

"No one says a novel has to be one thing. It can be anything it wants to be, a vaudeville show, the six o"clock news, the mumblings of wild men saddled by demons." - Ishmael Reed

"Very probably, it was not part of the sofa vaudeville of a showoff but, rather, the private, exposed achievement of a young man who, at one time or another, might have tried shaving himself left-handed." - J D Salinger

"Vaudeville was characterized by sunny optimism, acts that were uplifting, cheerful, and clean. It provided a fanciful, magical escape, but after Black Friday, the tone of American entertainment changed almost overnight." - Karen Abbott

"So many people are working in vaudeville today that I looked for three weeks to book enough acts for an hour bill and didn't have them until the night before we opened in Buffalo and money was no object!" - Edgar Bergen

"I was raised never to carp about things and never to moan, because in vaudeville, which is my background, you just got on with it through all kinds of adversities." - Julie Andrews

"I was very interested in vaudeville. It was the only sort of discipline that was a five-minute act on stage, which is what I really enjoyed and saw myself doing. And I bought books on it." - Steve Martin

"The violence or the vaudeville style of comedy is a technique all by itself. You get up there, and you are a comedian, and you're doing one thing. That is, you're going to make the audience laugh." - Leslie Nielsen

"A man ought to get all he can earn. A man who knows he's making money for other people ought to get some of the profit he brings in. Don't make any difference if it's baseball or a bank or a vaudeville show. It's business, I tell you. There ain't no sentiment to it. Forget that stuff." - Babe Ruth

"Anything really well-made has the effect of making you want to do what you do-better. Abrams has always made very beautiful books. It's exciting to see this same excellence applied to the presentation of comics. Abrams ComicArts shows comics are stepping out of vaudeville and into Carnegie Hall-but the Marx Brothers will always be welcome!" - Jon J Muth

"If you do a musical, it's really thrilling and it's a lot of work, but it's very rewarding. I would say, for me, what I like best is what I do, which is, I call it vaudeville, I call it live, I call it in concert, I call it what Bette Midler does, and what Garland did for years, and Ethel Merman." - Debbie Reynolds

"On the Bowery, in the ornate carcass of a formerly grand vaudeville theater, a dance marathon limps along. The contestants, young girls and their fellas, hold one another up, determined to make their mark, to bite back at the dreams sold to them in newspaper advertisements and on the radio. They have sores on their feet but stars in their eyes." - Libba Bray

"Do not permit yourself to fall in love with the end-game play to the exclusion of entire games. It is well to have the whole story of how it happened; the complete play, not the denouement only. Do not embrace the rag-time and vaudeville of chess." - Emanuel Lasker

"When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility." - Neil Postman

"I will step outside the system. Voting for the "lesser evil"-or failing to vote at all-is part of the corporate agenda to crush what is left of our anemic democracy. And those who continue to participate in the vaudeville of a two-party process, who refuse to confront in every way possible the structures of corporate power, assure our mutual destruction." - Chris Hedges

"If you find yourself concentrating on the technology rather than the sociology, you're like the vaudeville character who loses his keys on a dark street and looks for them on the adjacent street because, as he explains, "The light is better there."" - Tom DeMarco

"I have never had anything that I can remember in the business - and that includes all the movies and the stage shows and everything - that I didn't enjoy. I didn't like some of the small-time vaudeville, because we weren't going on and getting better. Aside from that, I didn't dislike anything." - Fred Astaire

"A man who knows he's making money for other people ought to get some of the profits he brings in. Don't make any difference if it's baseball or a bank or a vaudeville show. It's business, I tell you. There ain't no sentiment to it. Forget that stuff." - Babe Ruth

"... name association was big, as were my presumed interests in vaudeville and politics. In St. Louis the Bow tie was characterized as very Charlie McCarthy, while in Chicago a young man defined it as the pierced eyebrow of the Republican party." - David Sedaris

"Gypsy [Rose Lee], who was called Louise as a kid, gave her first performances here with her sister [June Hovac], playing for the local Masonic lodge halls. It was a tight-knit community, and the support and success the act enjoyed here enabled them to hit the road and make it in big-time vaudeville." - Karen Abbott

"I was always a fan of the old-style comics. I loved vaudeville. I loved Milton Berle, Dick Shawn, Phyllis Diller, Don Rickles, Charlie Callas, all those guys. Hilarious. I love the Bing Crosby and Bob Hope movies, and Abbott & Costello. My television influences were 'Monty Python's Flying Circus,' 'Benny Hill,' and 'Hee Haw.'" - Larry The Cable Guy

"It's strange because even in the vaudeville days, ventriloquists were never the main attraction. They were the guys brought out to stand in front of the curtain while sets were being changed. Ventriloquism wasn't even celebrated as an art until Edgar Bergen came along in the 1930s." - Jeff Dunham

"I think there's a lot of, unfortunately, unfunny ventriloquists out there, so they've got a bad rap. It came after Edgar Bergen because everybody had a little cheeky boy dummy like Charlie McCarthy, and everybody decided to become a ventriloquist because Bergen had popularized it. He brought it back from the doldrums of vaudeville." - Jeff Dunham

"I came to N.Y.C. in 1988 and got very involved with Act Up. I also started making movies, including two very gay shorts, 'Vaudeville' and 'Lady.' It was the height of the AIDS epidemic, and New York City was both dying and very alive at the same time." - Ira Sachs

"I'm not subject to their rise and fall because I'm not accepted by them, so I have my own little curve going on. A lot of it is because of how much I play, I think I connect like when all you had was Vaudeville, I think I have an audience by performing a lot!" - Leo Kottke

"as a lobbyist he had long ago concluded there was no difference in how Democrats and Republicans conducted the business of government. The game stayed the same: It was always about favors and friends, and who controlled the dough. Party labels were merely a way to keep track of the teams; issues were mostly smoke and vaudeville. Nobody believed in anything except hanging on to power, whatever it took. ....." - Carl Hiaasen

"Tilting his head back he slowly released an enormous quantity of smoke from his mouth and drew it up through his nostrils. He continued to smoke in this "French-inhale" style. Very probably, it was not part of the sofa vaudeville of a showoff but, rather, the private, exposed achievement of a young man who, at one time or another, might have tried shaving himself left-handed." - J D Salinger

"Stargirl began to improvise. She flung her arms to a make-believe crowd like a celebrity on parade. She waggled her fingers at the stars. She churned her fists like an egg-beater. Every action echoed down the line behind her. The three hops of the bunny became three struts of a vaudeville vamp. Then a penguin waddle. Then tippy-toed priss. Every new move brought new laughter from the line." - Jerry Spinelli

"I'm living in a world that was created a hundred years ago with vaudeville and people traveling around and medicine shows and things and making live music on stage and I'm still doing that. I like it that way. I like to present something to people that's had 40 years of being honed and perfected. It's something that you're not going to find with an artist who's been around for two or three years, or even ten years." - Don Mclean

"I never cared about making one coherent masterpiece with a conventional narrative. I always wanted my movies to have images falling from all directions in a vaudevillian way. If you didn't like what was happening in one scene, you could just snooze through it until the next scene. That was the thing about vaudeville: You didn't have to worry about the beginning and ends of these things." - Harmony Korine

"I am not an educated person. I didn't come up through a ballet company. I came up through burlesque. So I have a lot of inferiority feelings concerning my own lack of education, my entry into show business. I'm not a Baryshnikov. I'm not a Nureyev. I came up in vaudeville. Strippers. So I've always had these feelings. But I think they've also helped me." - Bob Fosse

"It was a great challenge to reconstruct Gypsy Rose Lee life, and my interviews with her sister [June Havoc] proved invaluable. It's not often that writers have access to living primary source material; this was the only person who experienced life on the vaudeville circuit with Gypsy during the 1920s, and who saw her perform at Minsky's Burlesque in the 1930s. She knew things that no one else could ever possibly know." - Karen Abbott

"Next-door a baker's apprentice with his wife, an employee in a printing-shop, she has inflammation of the ovaries. Wonder what those two get out of life? Well, first of all, they get each other, then last Sunday a vaudeville and a film, then this or that club meeting and a visit to his parents. Nothing else? Well now, don't drop dead, sir. Add to that nice weather, bad weather, country picnics, standing in front of the stove, eating breakfast and so on. And what more do you get, you, captain, general, jockey, whoever you are? Don't fool yourself." - Alfred Doblin

"I heard there were two local guys in town doing songs and comedy so I thought I'd take a look....they took my breath away...with their music, comedy, and showmanship.... 'Dakaboom'.. is the genuine article! Two voices in perfect harmony, and with joyful abandon and humor, they take you on a magical, musical, modern day vaudeville tour!! Ben McLain and Paul Peglar are headed for stardom. They are unique, they are original, and they are known as 'Dakaboom.' Don't miss 'em 'cause you're in for a treat!" - Tommy Smothers

"Parallel to the training of the body a struggle against the poisoning of the soul must begin. Our whole public life today is like a hothouse for sexual ideas and simulations. Just look at the bill of fare served up in our movies, vaudeville and theaters, and you will hardly be able to deny that this is not the right kind of food, particularly for the youth. Theater, art, literature, cinema, press, posters, and window displays must be cleansed of all manifestations of our rotting world and placed in the service of a moral, political and cultural idea." - Adolf Hitler



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