The Yellow Kid on the Paper Stage
Introduction Origins of the Kid Class Warfare on the Urban Stage Race and Ethnicity Selling the Kid The Death of the Kid
"In at the Death."
"The City Boarder Thinks He Would Like to Mow."
"Another Tragedy."
"Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Bow-wow."
"A Presentation."
"The Brownies Foot Race."
"The Ting Lings Go a Fishing."
Click on images above for a larger view, description, and source information.

Origins of the Kid: Street Arab, Slum Life, and Color Presses


Like its theatrical predecessors and contemporaries, Outcault = s Yellow Kid comics played race and ethnicity for laughs while excluding the butt of the joke from the community. Outcault featured black children in his comics, but drew them as if they were wearing blackface makeup, with very dark skin and large lips (that are sometimes white, sometimes red). Such portrayals bound the white community together; at the least, they may have thought, they were superior to blacks, and perhaps even the Irish, also an underdog ethnicity. Like the sporadic black character, the Kid and his friends were inherited from a tradition of Irish comedy previously found in minstrel shows, variety theater, and vaudeville. An Irish skit was almost requisite for such theater at the time.


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