Nat Wills
Raised in St. Cecile Lodge #568

Once a vaudeville headliner, he was one of the first entertainers to perform at the famous Palace Theater, and he appeared in the 1913 edition of the Ziegfield Follies.

Wills created "No News," one of the most famous and copied vaudeville routines. He played a servant reporting to his absent master on the telephone, saying, "There's no news - except that you don't have to bring home any dog food - well, because the dog died - he was trying to save the baby - from the fire - the one your wife started when she ran off with the chauffeur.  Except for that there is no news."

Wills also sang comedy songs. His song "B.P.O.E." was preserved on a recording titled "They Stopped the Show." The song began, "Oh, young brother Elk by the name of McCarthy, He ran off with my wife, There was no need to run for when he took her from me I was his friend for life."

The Hippodrome Theater in New York was equipped to present shows with spectacular sets. When Wills appeared there in Cheer Up in 1917, a real steam locomotive pulled a string of box cars onto the stage. A group of tramp clowns exited the cars, and then Wills sang "When Old New York Goes Dry.""

In addition to his contributions as an entertainer, Wills tried to help all entertainers. He was an original member of the Board of Governors of the White Rats, the first entertainer's union. The White Rats (star spelled backwards) were organized June 1, 1900 to combat the abuses of the United Booking Office, a group of managers who had a monopoly on vaudeville bookings.

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