Fright wigs and slapsticks and Tonys . . . oh my!
What do Grandmaster Flash, Phyllis Diller, and Oscar the Grouch have in common? Their pop culture legacies are all featured in the museum's new exhibition “Thanks for the Memories: Music, Sports, and Entertainment History.” In the following sneak peek video, curator Dwight Blocker Bowers discusses the mechanics of a Vaudeville “slapstick” and its influence on subsequent generations of physical comedians like the Three Stooges and Cheech and Chong. He paints a picture of the larger-than-life personalities of Carol Channing, recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award, and comedian Phyllis Diller, whose outlandish boots, wig, and wooden cigarette prop will be on display. Don't miss this inside look at the history of hip-hop, a glimpse of the distinguished career of director George Sidney, or the chance to find out where Dorothy's famous ruby slippers can be found when the museum reopens. (And please pardon the drilling noises and dim lighting—we’re in the the final throes of construction in preparation for our opening on Nov. 21.)
Dana Allen-Greil is the new media project manager at the National Museum of American History. She can’t wait to see those glittery red shoes atop the yellow brick road once again.