Jennifer Mooney's Irish Stereotypes in Vaudeville, 1865–1905 PDF

By Jennifer Mooney

Vaudeville is frequently seen because the resource of a few of the crude stereotypes that situated the Irish immigrant in the USA because the antithesis of native-born americans. utilizing fundamental archival fabric, Mooney argues that the vaudeville level was once a massive venue during which an Irish-American identification was once developed, negotiated, and sophisticated.

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Additional resources for Irish Stereotypes in Vaudeville, 1865–1905

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They represented desperate efforts to overcome an individual’s limited means of expression in order to communicate with a fellow 18 Irish Stereotypes in Vaudeville, 1865–1905 man. In front of an audience that shared similar experiences, laughing at the incompetent speaker was not an act of condescension. 40 This level of pathos, Kersten argues, could not have been achieved by the use of standard English. 41 In such cases, the use of dialect, and the comedy arising from it, served to make this criticism seem slightly less harsh.

40 This level of pathos, Kersten argues, could not have been achieved by the use of standard English. 41 In such cases, the use of dialect, and the comedy arising from it, served to make this criticism seem slightly less harsh. In vaudeville songs and sketches of this period, German characters say “dot” for “that,” pronounce “w” as “v” and vice versa while Irish dialect is peppered with “Arrah’s,” “Begorry’s,” “dhrops of the craythur,” and suchlike. While it might be possible to see the use of such ethnic dialects as indicative of a certain romance or pathos, the speech of black Americans was also stereotyped.

Likewise Eddie Foy, who appeared in variety as a knockabout Irish comedian, a clown and blackface act in the 1870s and 1880s and gained widespread fame in the 1910s when he appeared with his children in a vaudeville act entitled Eddie Foy and the Seven Little Foys. Foy’s career has been well documented by his biographer, Armond Fields. Along with Harrigan and Foy, Pat Rooney Sr. 47 While recognizing that vaudeville as a form of entertainment changed quite significantly during the period covered by this book—from the boozy, bawdy variety theatres of the 1860s to a more family-oriented entertainment business by the turn of the twentieth century—in structuring this book, I have taken a thematic rather than chronological approach.

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