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

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  113 ratings  ·  29 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...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Faber & Faber (first published 2005)
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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...more
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
Tracey
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...more
Paul
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
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.
Cybele
If you want to know anything about vaudeville- read this book. Dense in history and shrewd in commentary.
Gbjmartins
May 04, 2014 Gbjmartins marked it as to-read
People magazine
Emily
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.
Thomas
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.
Carol
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.
Graceann
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 Amazon.com: 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...
Greg
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.
Calvin
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.
Pieces
Fantastic. Witty and interesting, shows vaudeville for what it was rather than what it became. A+.
Josephine
An entertaining and informative look at the rise and fall of Vaudeville. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Roryz
Not my cup of tea. maybe I'll revisit it.
Maura
This is a highly entertaining, and thoroughly well-researched book. I like it very much.
Chris
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.
Carolynne
Read for my Theater History class
didn't like it
Cynthia
loved reading SDs witticisms about the birth of vaudeville, its role in the creation/influence on hollywood, and its nyc roots.
Miik
Fascinating.
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