‘another old Vaudeville mate’

Bert had been losing his hearing even before 1918 (when aged 46) as he was knocked back on enlisting in the Canadian army. (more on that later)

Here’s a photo of Will Rogers and Bert who were part of the entertainment for President Woodrow Wilson at the Friar’s Frolic in Baltimore May 1916.
Photo from Roger’s book- Will Rogers at the Ziegfeld Follies – Cover below. The book seems to be a reproduction of all the one line jokes Rogers used in his shows.
Will Roger’s father, Clement, was a leader in the Cherokee Nation. Will was born on Indian land in Oklahoma. He travelled to Argentina and South Africa in the early 1900’s to make a living as a cowboy. He got his start on Vaudeville around the same time as Bert 1905. According to Wikipedia this is how Will Rogers got his start – Click on the footnote below to go straight to wiki page on Will Rogers. (interesting story)

On a trip to New York City, Rogers was at Madison Square Garden, on April 27, 1905, when a wild steer broke out of the arena and began to climb into the viewing stands. Rogers roped the steer to the delight of the crowd. The feat got front page attention from the newspapers, giving him valuable publicity and an audience eager to see more. Willie Hammerstein saw his vaudeville act, and signed Rogers to appear on the Victoria Roof—which was literally on a rooftop—with his pony. For the next decade, Rogers estimated he worked for 50 weeks a year at the Roof and at the city’s myriad vaudeville theaters.[13]

Friar’s Frolic in Baltimore (above) and Friar’s Round Table in New York (below) – Sounds like an interesting club !

Wiki says- ‘The Friars Club is a private club in New York City. Famous for its risqué roasts, the club’s membership is composed mostly of comedians and other celebrities. Founded in 1904, it is located at 57 East 55th Street, between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue, in the historic Martin Erdmann House (now known as the Monastery).[1][2]

One response to “‘another old Vaudeville mate’”

  1. Lots of potentially engrossing scenes. How’s the script writing going? Mank? Any thoughts on who will play Bert? I note that Steve Coogan played Stan Laurel. Has he been approached?


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