A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 01, 2005
Inner Circle
The "Inner Circle" is the long-running satirical show where political writers and politicians make fun of themselves.

The 1997 drag appearance of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will long be remembered.

25 February 1923, New York Times, pg. E1:
POLITICS REPORTERS
IN NEW STUNT CLUB

"The Inner Circle" Formed to
Supersede the Amen Corner
and City Hall Reporters.
(...)
A new organization of political writers who purpose to carry on the traditions established by the Amen Corner in the matter of holding stunt dinners has been formed. It is called the Inner Circle and its main function will be the giving of a dinner each year at which politics and politicians, national, State and city, will be satirized. The organization is modeled after the Gridiron Club at Washington, which holds two such stunt dinners a year.

For many years the Amen Corner in New York City served the purpose of holding the mirror up to local politicians. It was founded about twenty-five years ago, when Senator Thomas C, Platt was the biggest political figure in the State, and its name was taken from the Amen Corner, which he originated as a meeting place for politicians in the old Fifth Avenue Hotel. Such meetings were generally held on Sundays, hence the name.

Subsequently the political dinner of that name, given by the men who covered politics for the local newspapers, became a feature of city life. The first dinners were held in the old Fifth Avenue Hotel, but for a dozen years or more they have been held at the Waldorf-Astoria. Last year the Amen Corner did not hold a stunt dinner and, while the organization is still alive, its former character has changed somewhat.

Includes City Hall Organization.

To continue the idea of this kind of entertainment the Inner Circle was formed. It is composed exclusively of the men covering politics on the city newspapers, with former political writers as associate members. The new organization is also an outgrowth of the Association of City Hall Reporters, which began giving stunt dinners about eight years ago. Its function was limited to satirizing the City Administration, andthe dinners had become so successful that it was decided to enlarge its sphere of activity and take in nation and State politics as subjects for lampooning.
(...)
This year the dinner will be held at the Hotel Astor on Saturday, March 3. Governor Alfred E. Smith and his supposed political ambitions, with a glance ahead to 1924, will be satirized in a five-act musical comedy entitled "The Supersmith." The book and lyrics have been written by members of the organization, and the characters will be taken by the writers. Professional talent is not allowed.

6 March 1938, New York TImes, pg. 9:
WRITERS LAMPOON
PUBLIC OFFICIALS

Lehman, La Guardia and
Others Are Targets of Satire
at Inner Circle Dinner

"BIG APPLE SAUCE" GIVEN

City Councilmen in the Play
Answer Roll-Call From as
Far Away as Ethiopia

Public figures of the city, State and nation, from President Roosevelt, Governor Lehman and Mayor La Guardia down were the subjects of satire in song and dialogue before 1,200 public officials, politicians and other prominent guests at the annual stunt dinner of the Inner Circle last night in the Waldorf-Astoria.

Entitled "The Big Apple-Sauce" the presentation pointedly portrayed the deeds and foibles of the politically great as interpreted by the cast of past and present political writers.

4 March 1997, New York Times, pg. A22:
When Mayor Rudolph Giuliani of New York went onstage last weekend as Rudia, transvestite nightclub performer, he put an end to any speculation whether people would ever forget the day he and Senator Alfonse D'Amato made undercover drug buys dressed as Hell's Angels. The photos of Mr. Giuliani in biker vest and shades seem awfully pedestrian now that we have seen him in pink gown, high heels and blond wig.

Mr. Giuliani's performance, at the annual Inner Circle show, demonstrates once again how intensely he throws himself into everything he does, from berating his critics to putting on eyeliner. Joining the cast of "Victor/Victoria." the Mayor did not settle for merely wearing a silly wig and padded top. No matter how unnerving the result, he was the most glamorous-looking Rudia he was capable of being.
Posted by Barry Popik
Names/Phrases • (0) Comments • Friday, April 01, 2005 • Permalink