Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Friday, November 7, 2014


From 1901, English music hall great Dan Leno.  Leno (1860-1904) was born George W. Galvin and began his career at age 3, performing in his parents' music hall act, and made his first solo appearance when he was nine.  During the 1880s and 1890s he was one of the highest paid comedians in the world.  After performing for Edward VII Leno became known as the "King's Jester."  Leno's career began to be affected by his alcoholism, which caused some mental aberrations, which was compounded by anger at not being considered for serious roles.  A breakdown in 1902 led to a commitment to an asylum and a further decline after he was released, leading to his early death ate age 43.

In 1994, Leno became a main character in Peter Ackroyd's murder mystery Dan Leno and the Limehouse Goblin.

In the song and sketch below, Leno performs one of his most popular acts.

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