The Hook!

The-HookWe’ve all heard of “the hook,” that crude method of removing a bad performer from the stage. Supposedly Henry Miner invented the hook, or at least he was the first person known to have used one back in the 1880s at one of his New York City variety houses. The hook–really a long pole with a hook in the end–stretched out from the wings when an act was deemed terrible, hooked the performer, and dragged him or her off stage to hoots of laughter from the audience. Frankly, I doubt that ever really happened. Surely the performer would see it coming, or if not, would hear the audience scream with laughter or warnings, and scurry offstage before the hook could reach him. 

Published in: on August 17, 2013 at 10:28 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. Eddie Cantor talks about being terrified of getting the hook his first time on an amateur stage in “My Life is in Your Hands” – of course, his act was a success, so he doesn’t say whether anyone literally got “hooked.” : )

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