About the Film
Based on the award-winning book: Sharkey
SHARKEY AND HIS PALS tells the entertaining story of “The World’s Greatest Seal,” a sea lion with a sense of humor so uncanny and spontaneous, many considered him practically human!
TRAINED IN KINGSTON, NY at a unique facility called Seal College, Sharkey starred on Broadway and worked with top entertainers and sports legends—names like the Three Stooges, Ella Fitzgerald, and Jackie Robinson. Sharkey's success resulted from the bond between him and his loving trainer, whose secret was showering Sharkey with kindness.
Sharkey and his flippered pals performed all over the world—from legendary vaudeville theaters to iconic movie palaces, from bizarre nightclubs to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, from radio to early television.
This amazing story is brought to life by historian and filmmaker Stephen Blauweiss and author Gary Bohan Jr. in a film featuring footage from the 1920s to The Ed Sullivan Show that will amaze and delight audiences of all ages.
You won't believe some of the other TOPICS!
Hunting U-Boats, Harlem Renaissance, opera stars, movie palaces, miniature golf craze, Prohibition, gangsters, Nazi Germany, two world wars, Steel Pier, big bands, censorship...
Some of the other CELEBRITIES!
Bob Hope, Imogene Coca, Abbott & Costello, Captain Kangaroo, Nicholas Brothers...
Some of the other ATHLETES!
Ted Williams, Jim Thorpe, "Babe" Didrikson...
Some of the iconic VENUES!
Radio City Music Hall, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, NY Hippodrome, Ringling Bros, Palace Theater, Los Angeles Orpheum, World's Fairs...
AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!
About the Filmmakers
STEPHEN BLAUWEISS (Director/Producer)
Blauweiss is an independent filmmaker and graphic designer. His 25+ years of experience in both mediums encompasses all aspects, from concept through final production. Blauweiss produces work on a wide variety of subjects, from art and education to social and environmental issues. He has produced over 75 short films and three features. Twenty of his short films about artists have aired on PBS and have been screened in museums and festivals across the U.S., Europe and Canada, including the New York State Museum, Mass Moca, the Albany Institute of History & Art, and the Dorsky Museum of Art. Blauweiss co-produced and co-directed the documentary Lost Rondout: A Story of Urban Removal.
GARY BOHAN JR. (Director/Producer)
Bohan is from Kingston, New York, where Sharkey was trained, and is the great-grandson of Sharkey's trainer, Mark Huling. While listening to a podcast about Sharkey, Bohan learned more about his great-grandfather than he had previously learned his entire life. Countless hours of research followed: pouring over family archives, visiting metropolitan libraries, corresponding with curators, and conducting interviews. Uncovered were newsreels, a 78-rpm recording, films, scripts, kinescopes, and anecdotes. The result was a book, Sharkey: When Sea Lions Were Stars of Show Business (1907-1958), winner of the 2022 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year in the Performing Arts & Music category.