Vulgar Humor In Christy's Minstrels

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Although there was a high appeal for racial stereotypes in early blackface productions, there was also a great pleasure in the grotesque treatment and the retardation of blacks. This allowed for grown blacks to be viewed in a way that they seemed almost childish. It explored the idea of a less frightening black man and gave the regular industrialized white man the idea of carelessness. At the time these white men were not allowed such things in the workplace so they thought of it as an escape. The more reputable of viewers thought of these shows as vulgar humor. They saw the shows for what they were, but nonetheless laughed along anyway. With the financial crisis of the Panic of 1837 underway, theatres were effected greatly. Attendance blundered,…show more content…
Not that long after, Christy’s Minstrels was founded by Edwin Pearce. Their work embodied that of Stephan Foster, Christy’s composer. Their idea was to clean up the vulgar humor that the Virginia Minstrels projected. For the next few decades minstrel shows would follow in the footsteps of Christy's company and perform a three-act template. The change called for theater owners to take control of crowds and enforce rules upon them. It gave these theaters a type of respect that they…show more content…
Tour life called for, "endless series of one nighters, travel on accident-prone railroads, in poor housing subject to fires, in empty rooms that they had to convert into theaters, arrest on trumped up charges, exposed to deadly diseases, and managers and agents who skipped out with all the troupe's money."(Toll 219) The more well-known minstrel acts liked to travel along the northeast cost which at the time was known as the main circuit. These popular groups traveled to Europe, but during the time that they were gone the less known minstrel shows were gaining popularity. In the later years of the 1840s, a southern tour had opened up. This tour would travel from Baltimore to New Orleans. Circuits soon erupted everywhere and soon it had traveled all throughout the mid-west, even making its way to California by the 1860’s. The popularity of the minstrel show increased greatly over the years and theaters began showing up everywhere. The theaters intent was to show mainly minstrel acts. Amateur acts soon disbanded, after performing at only a few local shows. Well known celebrities continued on such as

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