The Queen Of The Senile Girls
Bonie (pronounced "Bone-Knee", entertained at hospitals, convalescent homes, social & service clubs, private parties and charity functions for 35 years. Her acts were patterned after some of the Phyllis Diller routines, but Bonie wrote her own jokes & song parodies.
Two years prior to this article (so that's be 1976-ish), Bonie decided she needed a gimmick for one of her song parodies and designed a crazy hat. Eventually she ended up with some 200 hats used in her acts -- hence the article's "Hat Comedy Show" titular use & the photographs.
Deciding that some history would be nice to throw into the shows, she made a trip to the library to study the history of hats -- but "You wouldn't believe how dull the history of hats is, so I invented some history of my own." Here's one of Bonie's jokes, on the origin of ladies' wide-brimmed hats, which audiences supposedly believed:
"Way back in history in some European country, the ladies of the court were always passing gossip by whispering in each other's ears," Bonie explains. "Now the king was jealous because he couldn't hear the gossip and decreed that the ladies would have to wear wide brimmed hats so they'd have to talk louder because they couldn't get their heads close together."
But my favorite quote is this:
"Of course, we have to clean up the act a little, when we are performing for a church group or something like that," Bonie said. "Some of our jokes, songs and routines might be considered a little risque."
While the article doesn't explain it, the teasing, tantalizing comment makes me wonder just what sort of dirty hat jokes &/or song parodies Bonie had.
If you know anything about Bonie, or Barbara Ludwig (piano accompanist) and Frances Harvey (Boni's "favorite stage 'stooge'"), please let me know.