Alpha Centauri Curtain Call can be found in




ISFDB.org Magazine Entry



IN THE history of show business it will have to be recorded that vaudeville died two deaths. The first death was caused by the advent of the moving picture and the radio program. The rebirth of vaudeville was due to the happy union of television (an ancient term for video) and diehard vaudevillians.

As for the cause of the second death of vaudeville . . . well, there are many different views on the subject. It is my own opinion that the so-called "new" musicoloroma video shows killed vaudeville-little over three years ago. People are so easily led into fads. I contend that these pseudo-culture programs of "artistic and intellectual significance" will sicken and die of their own stench and once again video fans will howl for "new and different" escapes. Vaudeville will return.

But I'm getting away from my story. I mentioned that there were several reasons expounded as to why vaudeville lost popular favor for the second time. One of the most popular—and in my opinion, most erroneous theories was that Pike Pickens killed vaudeville. Now I could sit right here and say that Pike Pickens was one of the best comedians of all time. I could even say he was the greatest all-round song and dance man of all time. And millions (including the Pike Pickens Fan Club in Colday, Jupiter) would agree with me. True, there are many who would disagree (especially those who get so much stupid satisfaction out of "musicoloroma") for Pickens and his show was something you had to either love or loath. No fence sitters as far as Pickens was concerned.

Now I rather liked Pike Pickens and his video show. Knew him personally, of course. Appeared a few times on his program, in fact. But that is still another story.

I thought you might like to know what happened to Pickens after the second death of vaudeville. Oh, you know now, of course, but I bet you don't know it all. And anyway I mean right after the depresh hit us.

I know I wondered where Pike had gotten to. Lost touch with him for awhile you see. Most all ex-vaudevillians were seeking employment in other fields and we didn't always have time for the old "get-togethers" like we used to have. . . .

I finally got this job here. Not had when the customers are drunk enough to be generous and yet not so drunk as to miss the hat. I often wonder how much money I actually lose when the coins roll under the table and are retrieved by the damned busboy who I know makes more than me in tips and poor service he gives too. . . .

No one seemed to know what happened to Pickens. Poor Pike. So very famous. Presumed to be loaded with the l...

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