Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas from Billie Reeves, The Original Drunk -- December 24, 2016

Variety, 22-December-1916

Billie Reeves was a British comic who claimed to have been the first to play the role of the Drunk in Fred Karno's pantomime production "Mumming Birds," which was known in the US as "A Night in an English Music Hall."  This was important to some people because Charlie Chaplin first became famous paying the part and because Billie Ritchie, another comic, also claimed to be the first to play the part. 

Moving Picture World, 29-May-1915
Billie's brother Alf, who had managed the Karno company which toured the US with Charlie Chaplin, worked on the production of Chaplin's movies for many years. 

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