Page "Blackface" Paragraph 10
In the 1830s and early 1840s, blackface performances mixed skits with comic songs and vigorous dances.
Initially, Rice and his peers performed only in relatively disreputable venues, but as blackface gained popularity they gained opportunities to perform as entr ' actes in theatrical venues of a higher class.
Stereotyped blackface characters developed: buffoonish, lazy, superstitious, cowardly, and lascivious characters, who stole, lied pathologically, and mangled the English language.
Early blackface minstrels were all male, so cross-dressing white men also played black women who were often portrayed either as unappealingly and grotesquely mannish ; in the matronly, mammy mold ; or highly sexually provocative.
The 1830s American stage, where blackface first rose to prominence featured similarly comic stereotypes of the clever Yankee and the larger-than-life Frontiersman ; the late 19th-and early 20th-century American and British stage where it last prospered featured many other, mostly ethnically-based, comic stereotypes: conniving, venal Jews ; drunken brawling Irishmen with blarney at the ready ; oily Italians ; stodgy Germans ; and gullible rural rubes.