Category Archives: Anecdotes

David Bruce: The Coolest People in Comedy — Practical Jokes, Prejudice

Practical Jokes • In Act 4 of Puccini’s La Bohème, Mimi lies dying of tuberculosis, and Musetta gives her a muff to keep her hands warm. Frederick Jägel once surprised the singer playing the role of Mimi. When she slipped her … Continue reading

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David Bruce: The Coolest People in Comedy — Practical Jokes

Practical Jokes • Ben Hecht once started a music group called the Ben Hecht Symphonietta. Its membersconsisted of several of his friends: Charles MacArthur, George Antheil, Charlie Lederer, and Harpo Marx. Groucho Marx was not invited to be a member, and … Continue reading

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David Bruce: The Coolest People in Comedy — Names, Originals, Plagiarism, Politics

Names • Mark Linn-Baker and Lewis Black used to perform comedy together at Yale University. More or less, they were performing so that they could get enough money to do their laundry. Therefore, they called their act The Laundry Hour. • Don … Continue reading

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David Bruce: The Coolest People in Comedy — Movies, Music, Names

From Bruce Anecdotes Movies • While filming the movie Silver Streak, Richard Pryor held on to Gene Wilder’s belt while Mr. Wilder hung out of a moving train. During rehearsal, the train went 10 miles per hour, but during the actual … Continue reading

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David Bruce: The Coolest People in Comedy — Mishaps, Money

Mishaps • Homero Blancas once hit a bad shot that bounced off a palm tree and ended up in the bra of a spectator. He asked Chi Chi Rodriguez what he should do. Chi Chi replied, “I think you should play … Continue reading

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David Bruce: The Coolest People in Comedy — Letters, Media, Mishaps

Letters • Hunter “Patch” Adams, M.D., once wrote a fund-raising letter for a charity. The 2-page letter, which was actually mailed and which was successful in raising funds, was entirely written in Greek. Why did he do this? He explains that … Continue reading

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David Bruce: The Coolest People in Comedy — Laughs, Letters and E-Mails

From Bruce Anecdotes Laughs • The Marx Brothers and Charlie Chaplin were, as you would expect, practical jokers. When they were in vaudeville, the Marx Brothers gave Mr. Chaplin a free ticket to their show. He showed up, but all during … Continue reading

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David Bruce: The Coolest People in Comedy: Language, Laughs

Language • Between 1935 and 1940, Buster Keaton was making films in foreign countries. Movies had sound then, so he recorded the movies in various languages, learning a sentence in one language and recording it, and then learning that sentence in … Continue reading

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David Bruce: Mark Twain Anecdotes (Free PDF)

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David Bruce: The Coolest People in Comedy — Hair, Illnesses and Injuries, Language

Hair • While working at Darmstadt, Rudolf Bing knew a comedian who was completely bald, but had three wigs with different lengths of hair. The comedian would wear the short-haired wig for a while, then the medium-haired wig. When he finally … Continue reading

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