Virtual Vaudeville Title

Frank Bush

Frank Bush was one of America's most popular comedians in the late 19th century. His brand of humor exemplifies the ethnic comedy that dominated the American stage at that time, especially in vaudeville. This sort of comedy appeals especially to the large population of working-class immigrants in big cities such as New York, Boston and Chicago; in New York during the second half of the 19th century, close to 50% of the population had been born abroad.

A gentile comedian of German descent, Bush portrayed a wide variety of ethnic stereotypes, often performing multiple characters in a single routine. In the act recreated for Virtual Vaudeville, Bush first portrays an Irishman and then his famous "stage Jew," a characterization that set the pattern for subsequent representations of Jews in American popular entertainment, both on stage and later on film.

Photo of Frank Bush

Read a detailed description of Frank Bush's routines based on contemporary accounts.

Read contemporary newspaper clippings about Frank Bush.

Read Frank Bush's obituary from The Vaudeville News and New York Star.

Read the The Hebrew Glazier, the Bush act reconstructed for Virtual Vaudeville.

Read an account of the choreography for the Virtual Vaudeville recreation of Bush's act.


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