Winner of the first Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, winner of a Tony Award in 1959, a pioneer for women as writers and producers in radio and television, and the inventor of the situation comedy, Gertrude Berg is - in the words of her film biographer Aviva Kempner - "the most important woman in America you never heard of". [more inside]
Virtual Vaudeville [shockwave] Watch a 3D simulation of legendary comedian Frank Bush in a vaudeville performance from a variety of perspectives. Switch between any of eight perspectives at any time and read the extensive hypermedia notes to gain a richer understanding of the performance in its historical context.
"Cohen on the Telephone" (real audio) is "not politically correct by modern standards, due to its Yiddish stereotyping, but certainly popular in its time and rumored to be the first comedy record to sell a million copies. This bit primarily made fun of the crude telephone system in use during 1913, when Joe Hayman recorded it in London in July of that year for Regal/Zonophone (it was issued on Columbia here in the States the following year). Several other labels hastily released versions by other artists, and a series of sequels followed right up into the mid-20's." Such as "Cohen Exceeds the Speed Limit", "Cohen at the Pay-station", "Cohen Phones His Tailor", "Cohen Telephones the Health Department" and "Cohen's Recruiting Speech" (all mp3s from The Virtual Gramaphone). There was even a movie.
Jerry Lewis at 80 (more inside)
Todd Levin: "The United States of America According to my Racist Aunt" There's one in almost every family, and Todd does a hilarious map of the wisdom his racist aunt has shared over the years.