The three most important New York City clubs for members of the theatrical profession are the Lambs' Club (founded 1874), The Players (1888), and the Friars (1907). Many bons mots have been devised over the years to differentiate among them. As a broad generalization, one might say that most Players came from legitimate theatre, Lambs from musical comedy, and Friars from nightclubs and variety entertainment. It has been quipped that the Lambs are players pretending to be gentlemen, Players are gentlemen pretending to be actors, and Friars are neither, pretending to be both. Another saying is that Players smoke pipes, Lambs smoke cigarettes, and Friars smoke cigars. George M. Cohan belonged to all three clubs.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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