|Irving Klawfeld, circa 1932|
Irving Klawfeld is universally acknowledged as THE Broadway Producer of the 20s, 30s and 40s. His series of touring reviews, Klawfeld's Fancies, brought top level vaudeville and musical comedy acts to every corner of America and were adapted into a series of popular films that can still be seen on late night television.
Klawfeld was praised as a discoverer and developer of talent, having been behind the careers of actors and musicians as disparate as The Old Man Shirt Band, Central State Novelty Orchestra, William Powell and W.C. Fields. Klawfeld was also condemned as a "rank vulgarian and threat to people of good posture everywhere" by the social crusader Matilda Pearlclutcher. Her infamous Corps of the Upright were posed to boycott the Fancies of 1933 in Los Angeles as Mrs. Pearlclutcher took vocal exception to a song in the review that encouraged people to take off their shoes. Before a mass rally to initiate the boycott could take place, Mrs. Pearlclutcher was hospitalized complaining of chest pains and sour milk. The record-breaking run the Fancies enjoyed at the El Camino Theater in Los Angeles that year resulted in Klawfeld's movie deal. The subsequent runaway success of the filmed Fancies secured Irving Klawfeld's reputation as the predominant showman of his era.
The Klawfeld's Fancies of 1933 featured a mysterious performer know only as Manny Tippitoes. His self-titled theme song, accompanied by an anatomy-defying dance routine, somehow came to the the attention of the city's children, who attended the matinees en masse dragging their reluctant parents with them.
Irving Klawfeld was once described as "The Clotheshorse of Herald Square" by the columnist Maxine Haltertop. He was known for his flamboyant taste in clothing. Bob Hope noted at Klawfeld's funeral in 1963 that "the Russkies could see Irving from Sputnik."