Sunday, December 6, 2015

Betty and Jane Kean: Pioneering Comedy Team

In the late 1940s and early 1950s Betty and Jane Kean were among the only major women in nightclub comedy. While not necessarily what you could categorize stand-up comedians, they were most certainly creatures of the nightclub scene. They regularly performed at The Copacabana, the Latin Quarter, Chez Paree, Ciro's, and major Vegas hotels. They were perhaps the most prolific comediennes in that pre-Phyllis Diller time period. They did sketches, impressions, double entendre, and song parodies written for them by comedy writer Eli Basse. They were an old fashioned supperclub act that died off as the coffeehouse style comedians took over during the Beat Generation.

1 comment:

James said...

You probably want idea suggestions as much as you would want bedbugs, but I'll offer it anyway. Please consider writing up something discussing the differences between night clubs, supper clubs, Lounges, coffee houses, etc., in terms of what they were, what was expected from the comedian and the atmosphere of the crowd, etc. I read these interviews and I see distinctions being between clubs and lounges, and you just made a distinction between nightclubs and coffeehouses, but most of what it really means is lost on me.

Looking forward to reading your book. I've been hinting loudly for it for Xmas.