American Vaudeville Museum

All material © 1998-2011 American Museum of Vaudeville, Inc.  Page 12

Boston Vaudeville Performers History XI

Fred Allen

1894 – 1956


Born in the Dorchester section of Boston, Fred was a bad juggler turned great humorist. A ‘nut comic’ in vaudeville and Broadway revues, he found the best showcases for his wit on network radio and in writing books. He also made several effective movie appearances and, with less success, tried television. As with Will Rogers, the quality of Fred’s wit and writing elevated him to the level of an American humorist.



Ray Bolger

1904 – 1987


A great eccentric dancer-comedian born in Dorchester, Ray is remembered chiefly for his stage role in Charley’s Aunt (1950-51) and for the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz. Ray patterned his film role as the Scarecrow after his boyhood idol, Fred Stone (the stage Scarecrow in 1903). Ray was nearly as adept a comedian as a dancer.




Richard Carle

1871 – 1942


Born in Somerville (close enough to Boston), Carle was one of the brightest lights and most versatile leading comedy actors on Broadway between 1890 and 1930: he was a skilled comedian, actor, dancer, singer, producer, playwright, lyricist, composer, dance director and show director.