Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Denison Radio Monograph

T.S. Denison & Company published a series of vaudeville sketches in the early 1900s. Founded in 1876 they were still publishing in some form or another up until recently. This one is written by Arthur Leroy Kaser, but other collections of sketches were written by Vance Clifford, Sidney Steele, Franklin Phelps, Harry L. Newton, Forbes Milliken and others. The bits are often racist, and very dated: Donovan and the dago, Hey Rube!, Doings of a Dude, the Irishman and the Coon, Me and my downtrodden sex... the list goes son.

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In the late 1920s radio was on the rise and vaudeville was on the decline. In this sketch the vaudeville monologist imitates a radio announcer. The pamphlet begins with the simple instruction:
"No scenery required. Properties-an imitation microphone, which if a genuine instrument is not obtainable, may be made of a cast-off tomato can set on a high stool or other suitable standard; a newspaper and a piece of notepaper."