A type of theatrical variety show, developed in the early 1880s in America, that remained the most popular form of entertainment until radio and film supplanted it in the late 1920s. It incorporated an array of short performances like singing, ventriloquism, plate-spinning, contortionists, dancing, performing animals, and, at its heart, comedy. Reflecting both the cultural diversity of early-20th-century America and its prejudices, vaudeville fused such traditions as the English Music Hall, minstrel shows of antebellum America, and Yiddish theater.