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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...



About the Filmmakers

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STEPHEN BLAUWEISS (Director/Producer) 

Blauweiss is a historian with more than 30 years' experience as an independent filmmaker and graphic designer, encompassing all aspects from concept through final production, including photo retouching. Blauweiss produces work on a wide variety of subjects, from art and education to social and environmental issues. He has produced more than 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. He and his partner Karen Berelowitz co-authored and published two books: The Life & Death of the Kingston Post Office and The Story of Historic Kingston. They are currently working on a new book about Leuven, Belgium.










GARY BOHAN JR. (Director/Producer)

Gary 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, Gary learned more about his great-grandfather than he had previously learned his entire life. Countless hours of research followed: pouring over family archives, visiting libraries, corresponding with curators, and conducting interviews. Uncovered were newsreels, a 78-rpm recording, films, scripts, kinescopes, and anecdotes. The result was 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. 

Gary also plays trumpet and has performed with the Klezmer Conservatory Band, Joel Grey, and Itzhak Perl-man. In addition, Gary is a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and, for 17 years, served on the Town of Upton Planning Board.

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