American Masters (1985– )
3 user
Using film clips and photos, the art and history of vaudeville (1890-1930s) is illustrated.


Greg Palmer

On Disc

at Amazon




Episode credited cast:
Ben Vereen ... Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bud Abbott ... Himself (archive footage) (as Abbott & Costello)
George Abbott ... Himself
Larry Adler ... Himself (archive footage)
Hadji Ali Hadji Ali ... Himself (archive footage)
Gracie Allen ... Herself (archive footage)
Morey Amsterdam ... Himself
Fred Astaire ... Himself (archive footage)
Carl Ballantine ... Himself
Ethel Barrymore ... Herself (archive footage)
Billy Barty ... Himself
Jack Benny ... Himself (archive footage)
Milton Berle ... Himself
Eubie Blake Eubie Blake ... Himself (archive footage)
Ray Bolger ... Himself (archive footage)


Using film clips and photos, the art and history of vaudeville (1890-1930s) is illustrated.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

26 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mary's a Grand Old Name
Written by George M. Cohan
Danced by James Cagney and Bob Hope
From The Seven Little Foys (1955)
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User Reviews

A great summary of a bygone era of entertainment that provided us with our most versatile and talented performers
28 March 2007 | by gleetroySee all my reviews

Just seeing the stars (Morey Ansterdam, Rose Marie, the Nicholas Brothers, BOBBY Short (not "Billy" as another contributor to this space wrote), the great Carl Ballantine, and many more provides the viewer with a living scrapbook and a real feeling for what it was like. After seeing this, I am sorry that vaudeville was dead when I grew up. Unfortunately, many of the performers from this show are now gone too. This is another reason why this oral history is so valuable to us now. It is a record of those days.

I remember vividly the great old variety shows I grew up with (Jack Benny, Jackie Gleason, Red Skelton, etc.). A great number of these people and their guests were products of the vaudeville era. It was niceto see many of them able to sing, dance and do comedy. You had to in order to survive. Vaudeville was a terrific training ground and this program shows us why.

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