Sheck “Shecky” Kulhan was born on June 19, 1887, in Bensonhurst, New York, a small Jewish community on the outskirts of Brooklyn. Shecky was the fourth eldest of twenty-one brothers. Shecky never completed a formal education. In 1906 at the Vitagraph Studios in Brooklyn he earned his entry into film making by running errands for the errand runners of the performers. His persistence paid off, and he soon appeared as extra in films with such stars of the time as John Bunny, Flora Finch, and Earle William. It was also in 1906 that Shecky met legendary Vaudevillian, Hap “Happy” Harrison. Hap became Shecky’s mentor and close friend, and in the summer of 1907 they both joined Bernadette Klosterman’s aquatic burlesque act as “cheap whores.” However, this job only lasted through the summer. After a separation, Shecky renewed his acquaintance with Hap Harrison in 1912 and together they formed a partnership, which would last, with a few short brakes, for almost 1 full year. After studying with Vaudeville’s legendary Hap Harrison, Shecky went on to become the most respected and famous prop comic of his time. After sealing his reputation as “The Greatest Prop Comic of His Time” (New York Times, Arts & Entertainment, P.6, 1922), Shecky went on to open Shecky’s Prop Olympics, in Brooklyn, NY. There he went on to teach the secrets of prop comedy to such comedians as WC Fields, Buster Keaton, and Morris Feinberg, Larry Fine and Curly Howard, better known as The 3 Stooges. He also directed The 3 Stooges in the prop comedy
portion of the Vaudeville smash hit, “A Mid Summer’s Night in Venice.” Though
Shecky loved his prop comedy school, he always considered the tutelage of his son, Shecky Kulhan II, to be his greatest accomplishment.
Upon Shecky Kulhan’s death from syphilis in 1952, his son, Shecky Kulhan II harvested the family run business of Shecky’s Prop Olympics. It was also in 1972 that Shecky met legendary entertainer Shreeman Showman. Shecky became Shreeman’s mentor and close friend, and in the summer of 1972 they both entertained Shecky’s Prop Olympics, Catskills, as the famed team “Shecky & Shreeman”. However, this job only lasted through the summer and Shecky and Shreeman became mortal enemies. In the mid 1970’s, Shecky expanded Shecky’s Prop Olympics nationwide by creating a chain of prop comedy clubs. He opened Shecky’s Prop Olympics West in LA, Shecky’s Prop Olympics 2nd City in Chicago, Shecky’s Prop Olympics South in Atlanta, and Shecky’s Prop Olympics Houston, in Dallas. With the days of Vaudeville long gone and America’s desire for prop comedy non-existent, expansion for Shecky’s Prop Olympics was foolish. Falling on financial troubles, Shecky closed all clubs, with the exception of the original Shecky’s Prop Olympics, after only 7 months. After the failed expansion, Shecky focused entirely on the club that started it all, Shecky’s Prop Olympics, which was just as popular in the 1970’s as it was in the 1960’s! In the 1990’s, Shecky co-authored three books: Truth in Prop Comedy, Prop Comedy by Committee, and Prop Comedy and the Fall of the Roman Empire. In his life, Shecky Kulhan II taught prop comedy to such comedic greats as Carol Burnett, Steve Martin, Howie Mandel, Gallager and Carrot Top, but he always considered the tutelage of his son, Shecky Kulhan III, to be his greatest accomplishment. (Continued on next page…)
Upon Shecky Kulhan II’s death from syphilis in 1997, Shecky Kulhan III took the reigns of Shecky’s Prop Olympics and started a new brand of prop comedy – prop comedy for the new millennium; and from there he emerged to become the most respected and famous prop comic of all time. Shecky was the first prop comedian to sell out Radio City Music Hall; he was the first prop comedian to sell out Red Rock; and he was the first prop comedian to sell out Chicago’s Comiskey Park. After sealing his reputation as “The World’s Greatest Prop Comic” (New York Times, Arts & Entertainment, P.6, 2002 & 2005), Shecky isolated himself in the hills of North Dakota to reach deep inside and “find the prop comedy from within.” And now, after three years of isolated fine-tuning, Shecky Kulhan III brings the Shecky Kulhan komedy stylings to you, for a limited engagement prop-comedy-explosaganza!