American Vaudeville Museum

All material © 1998-2010 American Museum of Vaudeville, Inc.  Page 25

Bobby May

1907 – 1981

It is likely that no juggler was more admired by his peers than Bobby May. Still in high school when he turned professional, he reached big time vaudeville as a solo performer by the time he was twenty and after spending several years as a partner in the small time. By then, 1928-29, big time was fast fading in the USA, but Europe still enjoyed a lively variety scene—until the Nazism engulfed the continent and the world in the Second World War. After the war, Bobby May’s star continued to shine in ice skating (Sonja Henie) shows, television and the better night clubs in the USA and the newly reinvigorated variety halls (London Palladium) of Europe.

Hovey Burgess named Bobby May “the greatest club juggler the world has ever known”—and that from a man not given to hyperbole, but Bobby was adept with objects as diverse as balls, hats, cigars and cigarettes.