Archives On The Air 101: A Pair Of Characters—Chic And Virginia Sale Papers

Jan 28, 2019

Chic and Virginia Sale were siblings. They were also both character actors in vaudeville and movies.

In 1929, Chic wrote a popular play called The Specialist. It was about an outhouse builder played by Chic. As a result, “Chic Sale” became a euphemism for an outhouse. He was not happy about the nickname.

Although Chic is not well known now, he was often referenced in jokes by comedians like the Marx brothers.

Chic went on to Hollywood and got his sister Virginia to join him. She became a prolific character actor in the 1930s and 40s. Virginia specialized in roles as old women, even in her 20s. She wrote a successful one woman show called Americana Sketches in which she played several outlandish midwestern characters. She performed the show over 6,000 times.

You can get into character with the Chic and Virginia Sale papers at UW’s American Heritage Center.