Part two (the olio) was the variety section and a precursor to vaudeville. It included singers, dancers, comedians, and other novelty acts, and parodies of legitimate theater. A preposterous stump speech served as the highlight of this second act, during which a performer spoke in outrageous malapropisms as he lectured. His demeanor was reminiscent of the hilarious pomposity of Zip Coon; he aspired to great wisdom and intelligence, but his hilarious mangling of language always made him…
Twain, Mark (1835–1910) Sam Clemens lived in Hannibal from age 4 to age 17. The town, situated on the Mississippi River, was in many ways a splendid place to grow up. Steamboats arrived there three times a day, tooting their whistles; circuses, minstrel shows, and revivalists paid visits; a decent library was available; and tradesmen such as blacksmiths and tanners practiced their entertaining crafts for all to see.
Racist Symbols At the turn of the century, African Americans were most often portrayed in a very racist manner. The image above is a lithograph advertising a Minstrel show, which is a typical racist image of the day. The black man is portrayed as a fat lazy man, guarding his watermelon patch. Three black children are shown attempting to steal the black man's watermelons. The image was created by the Strobridge Lithograph company in 1900, and portrays Blacks in a very negative manner.
March 19, 1894 Loretta Mary Aiken (Jackie “Moms” Mabley), stand-up comedienne, was born in Brevard, North Carolina. At the age of 15, Mabley ran away to Cleveland, Ohio with a travelling minstrel show where she began singing and entertaining.By the 1950s, she was one of the top women doing stand-up and earning $10,000 per week at the Apollo Theater.