- A subcategory of the tent show or tent repertoire, the Toby show featured a young red-haired, freckle-faced rube character named Toby, often accompanied by a pigtailed soubrette named Susie. The character seems to have originated around 1909 as a means of injecting comedy into a standard play. Toby quickly became a ubiquitous and popular figure among the small troupes that played rural America, particularly in the Midwest and South. Toby was a silly bumpkin, but he always managed to save the situation in the end.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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