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The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts > Vaudeville Nation

Comedy

Advertisement for Fanny Brice as a "typical New York girl," ca. 1910. Billy Rose Theatre Collection
Advertisement for
Fanny Brice as a "typical
New York girl," ca. 1910.
Billy Rose Theatre Collection

Comics were featured on every bill. They could work solo or in teams. All varieties of gender and ethnic performance were presented the multi-cultural audiences loved to laugh at their own lives, struggles and successes. Comics from immigrant communities developed characters that were exaggerations of their own recent pasts. Some comics used language, basing their jokes on words and puns; others relied on physical or visual humor, such as exaggerated costumes or walks.


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