Monday, September 15, 2014

Ivan and the Kids

The children's shows at the Orpheum were legendary. It wasn't unusual for 5,000 kids to attend the Saturday shows in two shifts. Ivan would arrange to have short talks by the chief of the fire department or police force. Even the mayor would sometimes show up.

But the most favourite had to be Bambi.

“One of the kids’ favorite performers was Bambi, my little singing chihuahua dog,” Ivan recalled. “I’d discovered that when I would sing to Bambi he’d put his little head back, open his mouth wide, and wail—hardly complimentary, but funny! One day I took him out on stage with me at a matinee and we did a number for the kids. I sang Sweet Adeline, and Bambi went ‘aaaoooo.’ I sang ‘my Adeline,’ and Bambi went ‘aaaoooo.’ My turn: ‘You’re the flower of my heart . . .’ ‘Aaaoooo’—he was interrupting me now, ‘Sweet Adeliiiiiiine.’ The kids just ate it up!

“The act got so popular and got so much press coverage that MacLean’s Magazine decided to send a reporter out to do a story on it. They were to be there, reporter and photographer, on a certain Saturday morning and, believe me, I was excited. This was my big moment as an entertainer, too!

“When the day came, and our time came, all the stage lights were darkened, with only the spot on Bambi and me as we entered and trotted toward stage centre.

“The microphone rose up out of the floor, as usual, and as Bambi reached it he did something he’d never done before on stage—he raised his little leg and thoroughly dampened that mike! I nearly died! The place just went crazy, with 2,800 kids hooting and howling with laughter and the reporter got a story he hadn’t expected—nor had any of us. Talk about being upstaged!”

I want to thank the History of Metropolitan Vancouver website for the above information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.


  1. Isn't that simply like an animal. I am still laughing as I think about Bambi. I wonder if the mike shorted out and whether they still went on with the act. Children love little animals. On FB there was this little video of a lamb who yelled out and the owner said "You can do better than that" and the little lamb belted out one. Was so cut I couldn't stop watching it. Funny how critters can affect our senses. Good one Karen, Thanks.

    1. I remember taking our basset hound, Archie, to show and tell. And he peed on my leg. I was so humiliated. LOL