InSite -- Laughs from Long Ago Preserved on the 'Web

You know how you go on the Internet and start looking for one thing, and wind up finding all sorts of things you never expected? It happens all the time, and I found a glimpse of the good old days, entertainment most people today have only heard about, and probably don't really understand. Vaudeville.

It all started with a search for Bob Hope, and I found the Library of Congress Bob Hope Collection. This one branches out a quite a bit, giving you a good look at how stars like Bob Hope started out, in Vaudeville, and shows us all the things we missed, like a poster for one of the old shows featuring, among others, magician Harry Houdini. Some old fashioned contortionists, and of course, a dog act. Vaudeville was a lot like an old fashioned carnival, including human oddities, like the conjoined twins that told stories about their lives, played clarinet, and danced with the other stars. You might even recognize a few other faces, George and Gracie. So while you reminisce about Bob Hope, check out some of the acts that entertained America alongside him, but never made the big time.