Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “No Applause--Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous” as Want to Read:
No Applause--Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

No Applause--Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  129 ratings  ·  33 reviews
A seriously funny look at the roots of American Entertainment

When Groucho Marx and Charlie Chaplin were born, variety entertainment had been going on for decades in America, and like Harry Houdini, Milton Berle, Mae West, and countless others, these performers got their start on the vaudeville stage. From 1881 to 1932, vaudeville was at the heart of show business in the St
Paperback, 344 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Faber & Faber (first published 2005)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about No Applause--Just Throw Money, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about No Applause--Just Throw Money

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 326)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Max Magbee
I guess one could consider me biased on this subject matter seeing as how I have have a VERY strong affinity for the late 19th and early part of the 20th centuries, as well as anything Show Business related, but no matter, I still LOVED the hell out of this book.
Not only is it a very informative read, tracing Vaudeville shows and their early incarnations back to their very early roots in traveling minstrel and medicine shows (even throwing in the origin of the name Vaudeville, itself), to the he
Zack Hansen
Mar 22, 2007 Zack Hansen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Carnies, Magicians, Singers of Songs and Tellers of Jokes
In comparison to most of the entertainment histories I've read, this one is a very casual, entertaining and occasionally hilarious read. At times it does get a bit repetitive and can often resort to just listing names of performers associated with different trends or styles. But it's a great introduction to a time and subject I'm interested to learn more about. It's given me a number of new names (or ones I've heard of but not been familiar with) to now research in more depth. I can't wait to bu ...more
Al Jolson. Mae West. Eddie Cantor. Bessie Smith. W.C. Fields. Eva Tanguay... Variety is the spice of life, a staple of late-night television, and (apparently) historically the dregs of the theater. Travis Stewart here serves up a heaping helping of the steaming goulash that drove American cultural life at the turn of the 20th century, tracing vaudeville-style variety from its theatrical antecedents in the ancient Greek and Roman empires through the various carnivals and festivals that pockmarked ...more
Fairly interesting & detailed - S.D. starts with a brief look at the history of theater/performing arts, then segues into the disreputable "saloons" of the mid 1800's in America. The influx of immigrants & the development of the middle class helped push the creation of "good, clean fun" = dime museums & then vaudeville, which celebrated its heyday from about 1881 to around 1932.

Vaudeville in particular and show business in general = melting pot microcosm. Blackface/minstrelsy allowe
It's sometimes hard to get your head around just how big Vaudeville was for a period of 30 years or so around the turn of the century and after. Where today we might gather to tut-tut about the last episode of Lost or the new Simpsons Movie, the ordinary folk of that age were mesmerized (literally, I guess, in the cases of the hypnotists) by the singers, dancers, jugglers, acrobats and dog acts (not to mention sports stars, like Babe Ruth, wandering on stage and making a quick buck) appearing th ...more
Chip Carman
This book is a non fiction look at the stars of vaudeville and includes some classic looks at routines that were performed before the advent of film and television. It was really interesting to read about live performers I had no idea existed as well as the theater impresarios who rules over the different performance circuits. The author did a really nice job. Now to read about early silent films by the same author!
While deceptively casual in style, there's an overwhelming amount of data crammed in here. Wanted it to be engaging enough to keep me reading, but instead I just kept falling asleep whenever I picked it up. Struggled through 97 pages in a week and a half, reading at a crawl. Maybe I will come back to it someday, but for now it's back to the library with this one.
A. Kuhlii
Love it--great overview and details on individual performers. The final chapter, about vaudeville revival, was the weakest, but the book overall was an edifying pleasure.
If you want to know anything about vaudeville- read this book. Dense in history and shrewd in commentary.
May 04, 2014 Gbjmartins marked it as to-read
People magazine
A spirited and cheeky look at the history of vaudeville in America, with frequent references to these performers' contemporaries in Europe. I read this for research purposes, but I really got caught up in it. I particularly enjoyed Trav S.D.'s assessment and analysis of contemporary vaudeville in the final chapter. There's tons of historical information here, but it's never dry. A very entertaining read.
Kevin Fitzpatrick
Indispensable book for anyone that wants to know how live entertainment started in the USA. It is a guide to the lost world of vaudeville, its names, places, and dates. I had no idea the influence of vaudeville is so deep in popular entertainment today. Trav S.D. is a master presenter of fine research and stories. A must for anyone that loves theater and performing.
I absolutely love this book on Vaudeville from its origins to its legacy. My God, I found every page a delight to read. The author's style is just snarky and sarcastic enough to keep it interesting, but he approaches the subject with great reference for every spit take, fart joke and cheesy rimshot.
Boy Chris
Chock full of humorous and fascinating tidbits, Trav S. D. takes the reader on a tour of the fantastic, happily mimicking many of the dime museum purveyors he describes. Unfortunately, the constant litany of names and meandering structure did tend to drag down this usually pleasant and enlightening read.
This one was recommended by a student, and I enjoyed it. Those with parents/grandparents who might have shared memories of this time will enjoy it, too. The reviews laud Trav S.D.'s research, and it's evident throughout the text. The book was a bit slow in some places, but worth the time.
Nov 29, 2007 Graceann rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: entertainment buffs
Shelves: film-history
Please see my review at Grace's No Applause Book Review

Please click that my review was helpful at Amazon so that my rating continues to climb. Thanks!
Wils Cain
A fun non-fiction read about the history of Vaudeville. Best mental image is little Buster Keaton with a luggage handle sewn onto his coat in the middle of his back so his dad could pick him up and throw him into the orchestra pit or audience. Or a coma...
Lovely, and just what I needed. A lot of things I knew, being a geek for this stuff, but a new perspective changes the way one looks at things. Which is, I guess, what a "perspective" is.
Paul Madarasz
A history of what has become a little-known facet of American entertainment. Lots of anecdotes about the greats and not so greats that trod the boards in the early 20th century.
Craven Lovelace
It took me a few chapters to get past S.D.'s hipster style, but I can't deny that there's a lot of excellent information packed into this book.
Brian DiNitto
Great anecdotes about little known (to modern folk) performers. Interesting to think of our modern-day versions of Vaudeville on TV.
Jessica Freely
Fascinating look at a mode of theater that laid the foundation for modern show business. Recommended.
Feb 12, 2011 Calvin added it
Shelves: vaudeville
Incredible entertaining and insightful, one of the best books on Vaudeville Ive read, and Ive read a few.
Stefanie Lubkowski
A really enjoyable read about what was essentially the foundation of american popular entertainment.
Fantastic. Witty and interesting, shows vaudeville for what it was rather than what it became. A+.
An entertaining and informative look at the rise and fall of Vaudeville. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Not my cup of tea. maybe I'll revisit it.
This is a highly entertaining, and thoroughly well-researched book. I like it very much.
The tagline says it all: "A seriously funny look at the roots of American Entertainment."
Jeanne T.
I loved this book! Great comprehensive history of vaudeville.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Buster Keaton: Tempest In A Flat Hat
  • The House That George Built: With a Little Help from Irving, Cole, and a Crew of About Fifty
  • Pretty Things: The Last Generation of American Burlesque Queens
  • On Celestial Music: And Other Adventures in Listening
  • Gypsy: Memoirs of America's Most Celebrated Stripper
  • Steps in Time
  • Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture
  • Horror 101: The Way Forward
  • Chuck Amuck: The Life and Time of an Animated Cartoonist
  • This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and  Songs of Woody Guthrie
  • Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in Fifties Animation
  • Burlesque and the Art of the Teese / Fetish and the Art of the Teese
  • Silent Stars
  • Legends, Icons & Rebels: Music That Changed the World
  • Wit & Wisdom of Mae West
  • In Destiny's Hands: Five Tragic Rulers, Children of Maria Theresa
  • Writing Fight Scenes
  • To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918
Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube CHAIN OF FOOLS: SILENT COMEDY AND ITS LEGACIES, FROM NICKELODEONS TO YOUTUBE

Share This Book