Mickey Finn; Hokum; Honkeytonk;

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Dec 7 08:02:28 UTC 1999

    I'm still looking for even the date of the 1928 Joe E. Lewis benefit,
after which I'll check the Winchell columns for "Bloody Mary."  The New York
Evening Graphic is missing many issues, but I didn't see any Joe E. Lewis
mention up to June 1928.  Sophie Tucker sang at the benefit; she gave her
papers to the NYPL, and I've been looking at an un-indexed mountain.


     The RHHDAS has its first citation from 1928.
     This is from VARIETY, 18 January 1928, pg. 55, col. 2:

     Numberless stories are heard of the Mickeyfinning going on in the nite
     Mickeyfinning isn't describable, but it's easily worked, leaving its
victim miserable.
     The work is accomplished mostly by bartenders.  Oft-times it is by
disgruntled waiters.  Tips or the lack of them are the customary cause.
     It's also said that the very same Mickeyfinning has been behind some of
the nite club liquor trouble, with the victims so sore they didn't care what
their revenge might bring.


     The RHHDAS has "hokum" from 1908.
     This is from the NEW YORK DRAMATIC MIRROR, 14 November 1903, pg. 20,
col. 4:

We got a New York openin' and went broke to make the jump
But they put us on the programme next to Hokum's Headache Wafers.
We'd better pack the "flewey" quick, and jump a West-bound freight
And get back to the "Honkeytonks" before we break our plate.

SUE ME (continued)

     George Jessel probably started it, but this is from VARIETY, 29 February
1928, pg. 24, col. 3:

     Harry Hershfield's "Broadway Unlimited" daily column, syndicated and
appearing in New York in the "Evening Journal," has rushed into the hit class
before its second week finished. (...)
     One of Harry's best gags in his own column and likely to be run daily is
a single line, reading:
     "If I'm wrong, sue me."


     This article isn't an antedate for drag "queen," but I found it
interesting for that term and the continuing study of "gay."  From VARIETY, 7
March 1928, pg. 45, col. 1:

_Select Circle of "Drag" Votaries Snub Intruding Newcomers and Reprisals Are
Taken Which Threaten Old Coterie of "Queer 'Uns"_
     New York's sex abnormal males have developed caste and it threatens to
break up this, the biggest colony of its kind, in the world. (...)
     These drags have all the appurtenances of gala society events.
Beautiful cars of the most expensive makes roll up to the doors and deposit
the "boys" in the most gorgeous feminine creations.  They are nearly all men,
of course, but the keenest eye would be deceived in most of them....


     From Walter Winchell's column, "Your Broadway And Mine," in the NEW YORK

27 February 1928 (pg. ?):  Clare Briggs would very much like to know the
meaning of "making whoopee."
9 March 1928, pg. 27:  At any rate, some one rose to remark that after
reading Confucius he had discovered the oriental names of Eddie Foy and
Heywood Broun.  Foy's name in Chinese was Bow Too Long and Broun's On Too
Long.  (Beginning of "Confucius say...?--ed.)
29 March 1928, pg. 21:  ...like many who night-loaf, he has one of those
horrible "cafe tans."
16 April 1928, pg. 21:  The Neysa McMein cocktail, which is named after its
creator, is made of tomato juice, gin and pepper and salt, and is swell!
18 April 1928, pg. 21:  Swindling Hizzoner.  (Reference to New York's Jimmy
Walker.  See archives for "hizzoner"--ed.)
7 May 1928, pg. 23:  Over on Park Avenue, "moogling" is another form of

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