Roxana Kuwen, an artist of rare accomplishment. More about her at roxanacircusartist.com
Thanks to YouTuber FESTINHUMOUR- JOIE and to Mitchel Cohen for introducing me to this video.
Rudy Horn stacking up cups and saucers on his head–while on a unicycle.
Sigh, while I was procrastinating, others were utilizing their talents.
Thanks to YouTuber espeluznante
“The Banana Man” was a popular vaudeville variety act, first created by a performer named Adolph Proper (stage name A. Robins) who reached his height in the 1930s. Later the act was taken over by several other performers, one of whom, Sammy Levine, you can see in the video above.
Whenever I see an act like this, or any novelty circus act, I am simultaneously filled with feelings of wonder and horror—wonder, at the cleverness and impossibility of the act, and horror to think of the hours, ingenuity, blood, sweat, and tears that went into perfecting this one ridiculous 7-minute act. ( It took The Banana Man two hours just to load all his props for a single performance.) In a way, it’s kind of depressing to me to think how much energy it took to produce something so silly.
And yet I would not be ashamed at all to say that I’m greatly entertained by this act; and that this 7-minute triviality, perfectly honed, was able to take its creator around the world and provide him an excellent living. But by 1969, with vaudeville dead, Levine trotted out the act on, of all places, The Captain Kangaroo Show.
We are a very peculiar species.
You can read more about the Banana Man here.
Thanks to the folks on the Genii Forum, especially Bill Mullins, who first brought The Banana Man to the forum’s attention. And thanks to YouTuber Dave Powers for the clip.
This is a great vaudeville-type act in the tradition of Avner the Eccentric. Kaplan does great magic, juggling…and stay until the end to see his slam dunk finish.