DVR Alert: Broadway Melody of 1936 (19something) and Robert Wildhack

30 Jun

bway 1936Tomorrow (Sunday) morning on TCM at 6:00 a.m., Broadway Melody of 1936 begins. It ends about an hour and forty minutes later, with you none the wiser (“If tomorrow is opening night, why is all the cast, including the choreographer and the producer, performing in a floor show across town?!?”) but much happier. Eleanor Powell’s French accent, too, is a surreal delight.

But I don’t think I need to add anything about Jack Benny, Robert (“Boy, he’s pretty.” – My Wife) Taylor, Eleanor (“Boy, she’s pretty.”  – Me) Powell or Buddy & Vilma Ebsen (during who’s dances you’ll think just once at random, “Barnaby Jones, ladies and gentlemen”). And the Freed/Brown score is filled with songs you already know from Singin’ In the Rain. So instead let’s talk for a moment about Robert Wildhack.

Robert Wildhack used to host a radio show in the early 1930s, according to the IMDB. He also did comic monologues in vaudeville (I’m assuming the snoring routine from this one was in his pocket from those days)  and was also a poster painter, responsible for things like:

and:wildhack

Lovely, no? And you thought he was just the snoring guy. More fascinating info here  and here about Wildhack.

I mention all this only because little turns like these and the people who performed them are the only record we have of the majority of vaudeville’s performers. This is our heritage, kiddoes…the Snoring Guy. (I kid. It’s a pretty solid act.)

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