Vaudeville Act, Destined for Dump, Saved by Descendant of Jerry Mahoney

Feckless Five Archival Print Saved by Descendant of Jerry Mahoney

The demise of Vaudeville began soon after the debut of the Feckless Five, as they appeared in their first performance pose in the below archival print.

Les grimaces (Funny faces). Lithography by Lou...
Sid (top left)

Lenny (top right)
Willie (center),
Miriam (btm left)
Felice (btm right)

Feckless Five Back Story

The Feckless Five specialized in stand up performance portrait posing, which bored audiences, yet delighted photographers. Despite their unpopularity, the Feckless Five were trailblazers in Vaudeville, as stand up portrait posing was a precursor to stand up comedy.

Since performance portrait posing never caught on, the Feckless Five never was seated at the best tables in restaurants; instead, they were placed in the back by the bathroom. The singers, dancers, and ventriloquists always got the best tables, even the ventriloquist dummies.

Each of the Feckless Five had a unique characteristic:

Sad Sid
was always down in the dumps because his chair abutted the bathroom door. He never had time to eat since he had to let patrons in and out of the restrooms. However, they did leave pretty good tips.

Loser Lenny always had a “sour lemon lip” look on his face. Apparently, he was weaned on citrus fruit and had been fermenting ever since.

What the? Willie was perpetually surprised, which frankly always surprised him.

Moping Miriam carried the weight of the world and the failure of the Feckless Five on her shoulders. She never liked sitting by the bathroom and always voiced her disgust when the maître d led them into the back while ignoring her protests, which infuriated her.

Frivolous Felice didn’t care much about anything. She always sat at the table smiling while Sid, Lenny, and Miriam bickered about not being able to read the menu because of the poor lighting. It seems that the restroom sign that hung from the ceiling above them was never bright enough, neither was Willie. He couldn’t tell the difference between a table and a booth unless there was a phone involved.

If only the Feckless Five bickered on stage instead of portrait posing, they might have gotten top billing and have been seated at the best tables in the front next to the ventriloquist dummies.

Due to the efforts of Jerry Mahoney’s great, great, really great, grandson, Kenny Kindling Mahoney, the famous portrait pose, as seen above, currently hangs in the Vaudeville Museum in the back room by the bathroom.


Writing with a view – I found this picture on the Internet and began writing stream of consciously. Jump-starting my writing from a picture or word is a great way to get going on a writing romp.

I don’t know where my head was when I wrote this. It was a Sunday. The job situation appeared scarier than usual. In fact, someone should write a horror film about looking for a job in this economy – Jobs from the Crypt or Jobless Bloody Monday.

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