Although they are completely forgotten today, the Poluski Brothers, Will and Sam, were one of the top double-acts in the period immediately preceding the first World War. They continued performing into the early 1920s - Sam, the straight man, died in 1922 and Will in 1924.

They used many of the techniques familiar from later double-acts - the 'interrupted act', where the straight man is trying to recite something and the comic gets in his way; and the argument where the straight man would be trapped into agreeing with the comic and then correct himself - can both be heard on the recordings.

They were also knockabout comedians using a good deal of physical comedy. Sam was tall and well-dressed, while Will was short and eccentric. He would ask Sam questions and then hop around the stage shouting 'He can't do it!'; he had a routine where he wrestled spectacularly with himself (an idea reworked fifty years later by Graham Chapman of the Monty Python team), and they also used a pantomime camel to great effect.

In these two recordings it is possible to hear foreshadowings of Flanagan and Allen, and Morecambe and Wise. The humour is very basic by today's standards, but is put over with tremendous energy and presence.

Misunderstood (Columbia 1804).

The Village Blacksmith (Columbia 1823).

both recorded October/November 1911.

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