Scope and arrangement
The collection documents the careers of vaudeville duo Smith and Dale and contains early material relating to The Avon Comedy Four, an extensive run of scripts for Smith and Dale sketches, and material reflecting the later life and career of Joe Smith following Charlie Dale's death. The collection consists of awards, correspondence, news clippings, photographs, props, writings, and a small amount of legal and financial records. The correspondence is minimal and is often from third parties, usually to, or from, Terrence McGrath, Smith's friend and occasional comedic partner from the 1970s. The correspondence primarily discusses performance rights, the history of Smith and Dale, and includes condolence letters received by McGrath following Smith's death. Of special note is a letter from Arthur "Bugs" Baer to Smith reminiscing about their early years performing together. Photographs contain portraits, sketches, movie stills, and photographs that include pictures of Smith and Dale, The Avon Comedy Four, Eddie Bracken, George Burns, Walter Matthau, Lee Meredith, George Sidney, Ed Sullivan, Sophie Tucker, and Ed Wynn. The writings have notes regarding sketches going back to The Avon Comedy Four, lyrics for comedic songs, scripts, and an unpublished, unproduced screenplay called Stage Struck: The life story of Smith and Dale and their Avon Comedy Four written by Smith and Dale with Aaron Fishman. The scripts are mostly undated and often include working scripts in various iterations, cue cards, and scores. The typewriter is a Smith-Corona Skyriter, which was a small, portable typewriter that would have been easy to travel with.
The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject.