Friday, April 25, 2008

"MONSEWER" EDDIE GRAY


I posted something the other day in the comments section about the importance of a clown's originality in character, material and costuming... I take it all back now.

I'm stealing this; lock, stock and barrel ; )

This is "Monsewer" Eddie Gray, certifiable lunatic and member of the notorious Crazy Gang.

From Wikipedia...

"Monsewer" Eddie Gray was a stage comedian who performed in Music Halls.

He was born on 10 June 1898 in Pimlico, London as Edward Earl Gray. He became a professional juggler, but by the time he was twenty, he had extended to comedy. He discovered what became his trademark of "Cockney-French" while performing in Paris, France, when he spoke on the stage in his very bad French. The audience, however, liked it and he used it in his act from then on. His stage costume included a pair of horn-rimmed glasses and a looped moustache. He joined with the comedy pair Nervo and Knox in the Crazy Shows, but went solo in the early 1920s. He rejoined them again in 1957 when he was associated with the Crazy Gang shows at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London.

He married Marie Loftus Jones in 1927 and they had two sons. He died on 15 September 1969 in Worthing, Sussex.


3 comments:

tommy moore said...

Pat - If you liked this, check out 3 "very similar" acts: Bob Williams, Al Mardo, and Franck Marvin...who "borrowed" from whom - who's to say ... BUT if you're gonna borrow anything from Eddie Gray's dog act, borrow the BEST part - in the begining of the act, Gray claimed not to have been able to get his dog out of his luggage carrier. Undaunted, he brought out the (motorized) suitcase, and had the suitcase walk in a circle, sit up, play dead. Funny Stuff.
Great blog.
Tommy Moore

Pat Cashin said...

I've seen the beginning and thought that it was brilliant but the HISTORY OF BRITISH COMEDY compilation tapes never show the ending of the bit (the bit posted here).

Now that I've seen it, I REALLY want to create something similar.

The Monsewer's character reminds me a lot of Buster Keaton's piano player in Chaplin's film Limelight.

Mike Naughton said...

Bob Williams was a featured novelty act in the Broadway hit SUGAR BABIES that starred Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller. The show's tag line was "A Burlesque Musical".
CC alumni Michael Davis, comedy juggler, was also part of the Sugar Babies cast at one time.
Kevin Brown and myself presented individual variety acts at a summer stock theatre production of SUGAR BABIES.