The comic Nat M Wills leaves us with more questions than answers on his life. He was a great performer, but in his private life there were hard times and difficult moments. He was married 4 times. He was a head liner of great fortune. He was working the Palace theater 6 weeks after it opened as its star. He made countless recordings. He was a master at the monologue.
Nat M Wills as the Hobo Comedian for which he was famous..... Wills 1873-1917
One of his many Edison recordings, this one BPOE. That was a great classic.
No News or what killed the dog was his greatest hit. It was funny in 1906, and still funny in our own age. Good comedy lives, just like good fashion, for a long time. I played a recording of Wills just before I wrote this. I listened to him and had to smile. If his comedy reaches me a century later he really was doing a great job. He truly was one of the greats on Broadway and in Vaudeville. He left this world far too soon.