(of the Three Keatons)
First published in
Variety, 1909.

The Palace Theatre, Cambridge Circus, London, England.Alluring letter from Alfred Butt, manager of the Palace Theatre, London, started that-for-me comedy drama (mostly trauma) which resulted in The Three Keatons going three thousand miles over the seas to play one performance.*

It happened through Mr. Butt's letter asking if I would accept one week for forty pounds ($200; below my figure over here). It also said if I would make the jump (from near Chicago to London) I could stay there "indefinitely", provided there was any merit in our act.

"The Best Funny Act in Vaudeville"

I had $1,400 in cash at the time I received that letter. So the journey commenced. Arriving in New York, my friends wished me "God Speed" and also wished me success. If they had known Butt they would have wished him something too.


*According to Buster, Walter C. Kelly - "The Virginia Judge" - actually suggested that Mr. Butt book the Three Keatons, but Joe would never admit it. And according to Buster's diary, they played 7 performances, not one!


All notes from Buster Keaton's 1909 diary,
his autobiography with Charles Samuels,
"My Wonderful World of Slapstick", 1960,
and "Keaton", by Rudi Blesh, 1966.
Please see our resources list at the end for further reading.