Musings On 20th Century Pop Culture by Psychotronic Paul
I never before realized the debt Robin Williams owes to Bert Lahr.
Yes - and I would add another riffing exponent of "comedy as music", Danny Kaye. Whether Danny influenced Bert or vice versa, that I don't know.
Lahr definitely influenced Kaye. In the early '30s, Lahr was being billed as "America's most imitated comic," or something along those lines. Joe E. Brown, starring in the movie version of one Lahr's Broadway shows, made sure to study his performance so he could replicate it. Naturally, this pissed off Lahr more than a little.
Great post, Im a big Bert Lahr fan.As to whom influenced whom, Bert Lahr's son has spoken about how his father hated Danny Kaye because he stole Bert' act, remember Bert was almost 20 years older then Danny and had been in show business before him.
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