New York: Hotel Astor, circa 1920s. Handwritten Final Draft manuscript for the 1920s "Back Porch" vaudeville skit, seen here under the early working titles "Sleeping Porch" and "Porch Scene." Executed in holograph ink by W.C. Fields on Hotel Astor letterhead stationery. Also included is a typescript draft of the same work, with a few substantive edits in holograph pencil by Fields.
A manuscript of titanic importance, showing the very link between W.C. Fields' many talents, which began with a long and successful career in vaudeville, then as an actor and screenwriter. Evidenced here in every dimension is the extreme attention to detail Fields gave his work.
The hilarious-though-frustrating account of Fliverton, a disgruntled man who, despite his efforts, can't seem to escape the noise of his bustling neighborhood and take a nap on his sleeping porch. Interruptions include a crying baby, a newsboy, a faulty hammock, and his nagging wife.
Fields began his career in vaudeville as a silent juggler, eventually earning the distinction of "world's greatest juggler" and an illustrious career in both silent and early "talkie" films. Variations of the famed "Back Porch" skit appeared in at least two Fields productions, including "It's the Old Army Game" (1926) and again in "It's a Gift" (1934).
Manuscript 15 pages on hotel stationery, 9.5 x 6 inches, 4 pages not on stationery, 5.25 x 6.5 inches. Typescript 8.5 x 11 inches, with holograph pencil notations. Fine condition.