Virtual Vaudeville Title

Frank Bush: Notices from Newspapers and Magazines

These notices, found in the collection at Lincoln Center, span the years between 1882 and 1917. Several interesting bits of information emerge, as well as a snippet of his act.

Frank Bush Photo Cameo\
  • A." We were persuaded to go around the corner {from the French opera 5th avenue} and hear some more of ALL at Sea, on the ground that Frank Bush was a very funny low comedian. Another disappointment, Mr. Bush plays a Sam'l of Posen Jew in the variety hall style. He makes the groundlings laugh and the judicious grieve with his monkeyshines and inartistic exaggerations. It would require a year's training to make him a passable actor, but he has fun in him, and perhaps the task could repay the manager who should undertake it. Entire seclusion for a year and complete forgetfulness of his music hall pranks are indispensable however. That he is the best of his company is not high praise. We did not suppose that so much inability could be presented on the NY stage."
    N.Y. Spirit of the Times, April 29, 1882
  • B. "Tony Pastor's---Among the extensive bill "Frank Bush with his peculiar and popular songs and impersonations. "
    Variety Dramatic Mirror, Apr 5, 1890.
  • C. "Girl Wanted" at the Fourteenth Street…was produced in Brooklyn a few weeks ago. It was written to give Frank Bush a quick-change part, in which he appears as a Yankee farmer, a German girl, a Bowery waiter, a Jew, an Irishman and a prima donna, and the story twists about to bring in these characters which are well represented. The wonder is that an actor who can assume so many characters cleverly should not select one of them and make it a feature."
    N.Y. Spirit of the Times, Jan 11 1896
  • D. "Frank Bush, the famous Hebrew comedian, at the zenith of his career, said yesterday that this would be his last season in vaudeville, however and is now arranging to make a production of his own, with a company for next year."
    Daily Blade (Toledo) Oct 4, 1906
  • E. "In all I guess I have written some 20,000 stories, "he said, " Lots of them are little ones-simple ones. They go best." Those with a point that none can overlook. Mr. Bush takes a lot of interest in the telling of his stories and without any trouble can go on twice a day for a week and never tell the same story twice."
    Daily Blade (Toledo) Oct 11, 1906
  • F. "Frank Bush opens at the Empire Theatre, San Francisco, California March the first after an absence of twelve years. He has never played the Orpheum circuit and he has never played for Sullivan and Considine, but he opens for the Western States Vaudeville Association at the largest salary they ever paid one man. He plays ten consecutive weeks, and if successful has a promise of fifteen more added to his contract, which will bring his time up to about next Sept. Mr. Louis Pinches of the WSVA booked the engagement.
    Variety, Dec 14, 1907.
  • G. "Frank Bush, the original human monologist is the bright particular of the program. Age does not either nor custom stale his flow of talk, and his jokes, although by now fairly familiar, always bring a laugh. He is not always the most delicate orator in the world, and the mirth inspired by his bon mots generally starts in the gallery, but it always spreads to the lower sections of the house, so there is no real complaint on this score."
    " Lively Bill at Pastors" June 6, 1907, by Robert Spear (Clipping, not cited)
  • H. Pastor's…. Bush…. is getting to be a rapid-fire story-teller,"
    Dramatic News, May 2, 1908
  • I. "Virtually all dialects are handled by Mr. Bush will consummate skill, and none of this stories is offensive"
    Duluth Herald, June 10, 1911
  • J. "Were it not for the funny stories of Frank Bush and the human accomplishments of Mary Ellen the so-called baby elephant, this week's vaudeville performance at the new Temple theatre would fall far below average. Why Frank Bush advertised as "America's Representative Comedian" should base all his funny stories on other country's citizens is rather puzzling, but perhaps if things were the other way around we wouldn't see the joke even if Frank could."
    Syracuse Post Standard, Dec. 21, 1914
  • K. "German Irish Jewish and Negro stories were recounted to the audience at the Nixon Theater yesterday afternoon by Frank Bush, the monologist, when appeared as the headline offering. …A good raconteur."
    Philadelphia North American, Feb 2, 1915
  • L. "Time in its ravages has dealt with Miss Gracie Emmett as it does with old wine. The same might be true of another vaudeville star, Frank Bush, as he appeared with Miss Emmett in their respective acts at the Palace in Sunday. Although there were probably few in the house who had seen either of these well-known entertainers before, their fame had preceded them. Each was welcomed heartily."
    {Introducing himself, Bush said it was 12 years since he had played in Toledo.}
    Toledo Daily Blade, Apr. 26, 1915
  • M. "CRYSTAL (Theatre): Any person who has read the joke columns in the newspapers regularly probably discovered that many of Bush's jokes are not entirely new. However, his manner of telling stories is inimitable and he had his audience first chuckling and then shouting with laughter."
    Milwaukee Daily News, May 25, 1915
  • N. "Bush, who has been appearing before the public since he was 15 years old, some 42 years ago, says he introduced the Jewish burlesque idea some 38 years ago and that David Warbled and every other delineator of this type has copied him.
    Says he's never missed a performance and was never intoxicated Bush is also proud of his ancestry, his great grand mother was a sister of John Quincy Adams, Pres. of the US."
    Detroit Journal Dec 22, 1916
  • O. "Frank Bush the vaudeville monologist starts his speech just like this: "I'm not a tramp. I'm a lily. I toil not, neither do I spin. And Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like this. The other day I asked a woman for something to eat. She said she hadn't a thing in the house to give me, and besides, she was busy, as she had a couple of letters to write. I said, "Madam, let me lick the stamps. I can't starve.' She said "What's the matter with your coat-" I said "Insomnia. It hasn't had a nap in ten years. "Well," she said, "I'll give you a dipperful of water.' "I said," Is that all you can give-" She said, "No you can have as many dipperfuls as you want."
    Toledo Daily Blade, Aug 31 1917

See also an obituary of Frank Bush.

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