Vaudeville as a genre of variety entertainment began in France in the 1860s. The first vaudeville productions in France were comedies, often interspersed with song and dance.

Vaudeville gained popularity in the United States in the 1880s, until its demise in the 1930s.

Like the Victorian Music Hall genre in England, the Vaudeville bill consisted of up to 20 unrelated acts with a vast variety in the type of performance.

Musical acts-- both serious and comical, trained animal acts, magicians, ventriloquists, acrobats, jugglers, scenes from popular plays, minstrels, and sideshow acts, among others, could all have been part of the show.