Skip to Content
HomeAbout this siteHelpSearch this site The Library of Congress
America's Story from America's LibraryMeet Amazing AmericansJump Back in TimeExplore the StatesJoin America at PlaySee, Hear and Sing
See, Hear and Sing Humor
Charles Dillingham and Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. present a musical entertainment entitled The Century Girl, 1916.
The 1916 program for the musical The Century Girl

Enlarge this image
Humor is a universal language.
Joel Goodman

With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.
Abraham Lincoln

Today, we find humor from many sources. TV, movies, books, radio, and the Internet are just some of the mediums used to offer comedy. But at the turn of the 20th century, the most common way to enjoy humor was to attend a vaudeville show, a variety show that might include comedians, dancers, singers, performing animals, acrobats, and magicians. Much of today's humor evolved from vaudeville, which began to decline in popularity after 1932. It was at that time that the leading vaudeville theater, the Palace Theater in New York, replaced live acts with film.

Great Northern Train, Four Miles West of Minot, North Dakota.
Does That Sound Like a Chicken to You?
Happy Hooligan's Humble Hat
More Stories

Choose Another Subject

More Stories About Humor
Before Laurel and Hardy There Was Ed and Sally
"Vaudeville Comedians"
Does That Sound Like a Chicken to You?
Happy Hooligan's Humble Hat
"Happy Hooligan"

Library Of Congress | Legal Notices | Privacy | Site Map | Contact Us