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Monk Watson

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Monk Watson
BornDonald William Watson
March 23 1894
Jackson, Michigan
DiedMarch 23 1981 (age 87)
Metuchen, NJ
Resting placeLakeside Cemetery, Colon, Michigan
CategoriesBooks by Monk Watson

Monk Watson (1894-1981) started his career at 8 years old and traveled as a mascot on tour with the Buffalo Bill Circus where he met William "Buffalo Bill" Cody.


Watson learned how to do clown work and, joined the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus at 16.

Monk Tribute

Monk got his nickname after enlisting in the Army to serve in World War I from a girl who saw his humorous act and said "That fellow looks like a monkey ".

In vaudeville, he toured as a bandleader and dancer, then as a stage manager. Watson was responsible for booking such acts as Jack Benny and a young Bob Hope. While a resident of Colon, Michigan, he became close friends with Harry Blackstone, Sr. and was even the godfather of Harry Blackstone, Jr..

He wrote a long running column in Tops called "The Professional Touch".

Monk died March 23, 1981 in Metuchen, NJ at home of a daughter on his 87th birthday. [1]



  1. Genii Vol.45, No.5, May 1981, Obituaries, page 305
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  • Cover, Tops Magazine, Vol.7, No. 3, March 1942, “Monk Watson” – His Story, page 4
  • The Conjurors' Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 7, September 1948, SPEAKING OF PICTURES… Monk Watson, page 7 - In Bruce Reynolds Spotlight, Monk Watson, page 13
  • Cover, The New Tops, Vol. 1, No. 12, December 1961, COVER PORTRAIT… 'Monk' Watson, by John Braun, page 4
  • The New Tops, Vol. 6, No. 6, June 1966, ‘Monk’ Watson, Our Vaudeville Smash, 35 Years Later, by Daniel Waldron, page 14
  • Cover, The New Tops, Vol. 10, No. 8, September 1970, Cover Portrait… Monk Watson, Headed for College at 76, by Virginia Gust, page 55
  • Cover, The New Tops, Vol. 14, No. 3, March 1974, COVER PORTRAIT... Donald 'Monk' Watson, HIS EIGHTIETH YEAR who else? – 'Monk' Watson, page 8
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 61, No. 5, May 1981, Broken Wand, Donald "Monk" Watson, page 107
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 82, No. 7, July 2002, PICTURE FROM THE PAST, page 36 - ANSWER TO PICTURE FROM THE PAST, page 118