We’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.