TV It Seems Like Old Strippers Competing for the Love of Bret Michaels on Television is Unprecedented in its Insanity
posted by May 5 at 9:29 AMon
…but when I was a youngster, America gave mimes a prime-time variety show.
Citizens of a certain age certainly remember Shields & Yarnell, the married mimes who enchanted the nation for a number of months in the mid-late ’70s. As Wikipedia attests, “Their specialty was taking on the personae of robots, with many individual, deliberate motions (as opposed to normal smooth motion) stereotypical of robots, enhanced by their ability to refrain from blinking their eyes for long stretches of time.”
This is true. If Shields and Yarnell weren’t being robots, they were being old-timey toys, or marionettes—basically, whatever allowed them to devote long stretches of time to marching around with expressive elbows and spooky looks on their faces.
For a nation battered into cynicism by Vietnam and Watergate, then tenderized by the smooth matrimonial soul of Captain & Tennille, Shields & Yarnell were an irresistible mystery. They were also, for the young and impressionable, vaguely terrifying.
P.S. Shields and Yarnell divorced in 1986, but continue to reunite periodically to perform as a duo.