Joe Gray has done the warm-ups for the past 30 years, getting the crowd fired up before the first contestant goes on. After he turned 69 in June, he decided it was time for him to be gone: It was time to retire. The search for a replacement began. In September, a casting agency held auditions. Then Mr. Gray changed his mind. He decided that not working — not bantering with the audience, and not hanging out with performers and stagehands behind the scenes — was not for him.
Amateur Night at the Apollo: Behind the Boos of America’s Toughest Crowd
"Amateur Night" at the Apollo, now 80 years young - CBS News
Sign in. Watch now. Title: Showtime at the Apollo —. I want to have a show one of movies. I also this is me at a big movie of a gathering. I have to think of it being here tho cause it is one at this place. I really have dog in path way for a marsupial bill banana wad it is the game there.
The Apollo Theater's Legendary Amateur Night
The ghettos, factory towns, and dusty crossroads of America are filled with dreamers. In the days before American Idol and America's Got Talent these communities could offer little to stimulate those with imagination, and -- dare they hope it -- talent. While star-struck white kids traditionally headed for Hollywood or Broadway, their black counterparts bucked the odds and beat a path for Harlem and the Wednesday-night amateur show at the Apollo Theater. They knew they would face the toughest and most demanding audience in the world, a crowd notorious, especially on Amateur Nights, for its vocal and sometimes physical demonstrations of displeasure.
The Apollo green room buzzes with activity. Mahiro, alone, silently walks to the back of the room, wipes off some sweat, gathers his props, ties his braids into a ponytail, sits cross-legged in a heap on the floor and stares at who-knows-what. Amateur Night at the Apollo opened its 81st season on Wednesday, February 18th; and it had already claimed its first victim. Yet, it is a boo from deep within. So it was like, years ago.