Have you been watching "Britain's Got Talent"? It's supposed to be a search for talent suitable for the Royal Variety Performance.
One problem has been with the audience, specially recruited from bubbleheads, - the only requirement the ability to scream loudly. Not one of them had ever seen a variety show and had no idea what sorts of talents are needed.
They got specially wild and wound up about anyone who came on and said they were going to sing, then bawled out in a strained voice with their face all distorted as if they were suffering from extreme constipation.
I don't remember anyone doing that on the halls. Certainly Donald Peers didn't. Not did Jeannette MacDonald nor Nelson Eddy.
I thought the ventriloquist was quite good but he didn't stand an earthly with the mob.
One of the funniest acts I saw - on the Royal Variety Performance - was a little (American) fellow in a baggy black suit and a bowler hat who was about to play the violin, except that he never got round to it. He caught his thumb in his jacket buttonhole or something else happened - never spoke word - sheer clowning.
What kind of reception would Percy Edwards or Elsie and Doris Waters have got from Simon Cowell?
They should bring back real variety on television. I'm sure it would be very popular.
I some times get snips from the web of acts in America Got Talent. One was of a lady magician producing coloured hankies. As she removed one she also removed an article of clothing to finally end up quite naked and then removed the last hankie. Copies available.