Vaudeville was the most popular form of American entertainment from its rise in the 1880s through 1930s. It played much the same a role in people’s lives that radio and later television would for later generations. Many early radio, television and film stars began as vaudeville performers. It was variety entertainment, consisting of a diverse series of short acts. The acts ranged from singing groups, animal acts, comedians, contortionists, magicians to short musical plays. Very rarely freaks or sideshow acts were performed.

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