In the case of Weber and Fields (or "Mike and Meyer" as their characters were known) and many of the other acts of this genre, this often involved stereotyping by dress and behavior, as well as comedic and often sympathetic portrayals of the characters' attempts to fit into American society. "Crafty schemes" of "making it big" in America, as well as the attempts of mere survival of immigrant poverty in America, were written into the script of these acts. A typical "Mike and Meyer" routine involved Mike, the short and clever one, unsuccessfully trying to coach Meyer, the tall and simple one, in a scheme to get them a free lunch at a working-class saloon.
Weber and Fields in 1899.
The two toured successfully for many years, becoming one of the most popular and profitable acts in vaudeville. In 1896, the partners opened the Weber and Fields Music Hall, where they produced very successful burlesques of popular Broadway shows. In the music hall's casts were some of the greatest performers and comics on the American stage at that time, including Lillian Russell, Ross and Fenton, Fay Templeton, and DeWolf Hopper. Some of their routines were Pousse Cafe,Hurly Burly,Whirl-I-Gig,Fiddle-Dee-Dee,Hoity-Toity,Twirly Whirly, and Whoop-de-Doo.
The duo separated in 1904, and Weber took over operations at the music hall. Fields also went on to produce many musicals. When Fields starred in the 1911 stage comedy, The Hen-Pecks, one of the supporting comedians in the cast was Vernon Castle, who went on to become a famous ballroom dancer. In 1921, Fred Allen and Nora Bayes toured with Fields. During the tour the orchestra was conducted by 19-year-old Richard Rodgers. Video on YouTube
In 1923, Weber and Fields reunited for a short film made by Lee DeForest in the DeForest Phonofilmsound-on-film process, featuring a recreation of their famous pool hall routine. This film premiered at the Rivoli Theater in New York City on 15 April 1923. They also reunited for the 27 December 1932 inaugural show at Radio City Music Hall, which proved to be the last stage appearance of the two as a team. In the RKO Radio Pictures film, The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939), Fields appeared as himself, re-enacting a slapstick comedy scene from The Hen-Pecks. They gave a cameo performance performing their "casino" routine in the 1940 movie Lillian Russell.