Weber, Joseph (Morris)vaudeville comedians, theatrical producers; both born in New York City. Starting together as schoolboys in the Lower East Side, they perfected a long-running act (1877–1904) that involved song-and-dance, dialect, slapstick, and sometimes blackface routines in which Fields was the bullying partner and Weber the fall-guy—the inspiration for many such duos as Laurel and Hardy and Abbott and Costello. At their peak they comanaged Weber and Fields Music Hall, parodying serious plays and musicals. Splitting in 1904, they took up again in 1912 and went on to musicals and even films but never regained their original popularity.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.