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Monday, March 31, 2008

Vaudeville Meets Star Trek

Herbert Wiere was the last surviving member of the Vaudeville act The Wiere Brothers, and for a few years in the mid-nineties he was my neighbor. In 1994 we moved into a quiet apartment building on Magnolia Blvd. in Valley Village. "Herbie" lived upstairs from us but parked his Karman Ghia next to us. I regret I never made the effort to sit down and talk to Herbie about his long career in Vaudeville, movies and Television. Herbie seemed like a nice, slightly eccentric and active gentleman in his mid-eighties.

Herbie and his brothers Harry and Sylvester came to America from Austria in the 1930's before Hitler began his march of evil through Europe. The Wiere Brothers worked as a live act on the vaudeville and nightclub circuits until 1970. They also appeared in the movies with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby as well as Elvis. They were also regulars on television including the Merv Griffin Show. Curiously Merv Griffin once owned the house 2 doors west our Herbie's apartment.

While I never did sit down with Herbie, I did talk to the apartment building owner about Herbie and he told me Burt Lancaster used to regularly visit Herbie in his apartment. The owner also informed me that before we moved into our apartment it had been inhabited by a man who played a Ferengi On Star Trek the Next Generation. Vaudeville meets Star Trek in a quiet little apartment building in the San Fernando Valley.

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