Dan and Jay Invent the World’s First “Comedy Automaton,” ‘Praxedes’

Praxedes was a step up from previous “speaking” automata, such as Euphonia, in that not only could she “say” pre-programmed words, but, through the use of certain knobs, be made to inflect, for the sake of comedy.  She was eventually programmed to play out the female part from a dozen or more classic three-part comedy routines, all adapted to the Daniel and Jason style.  For two years, they brought Praxedes with them to every show, but when her popularity soon brought demands from theater owners that the troupe bill themselves as “Praxedes and Men,” she was disassembled, with her absence blamed on “female troubles,” something the audience failed to question.

Rumors abound in the lore of Praxedes, the remains of which are stored at the Dan and Jay’s Comedy Hour Archives.  One of the more persistent legends is that, rather than an issue with billing, on her final show, Praxedes improvised a comedic line.  As the legend goes, the show continued as normal, so as not to draw suspicion, but after the curtain went down, the men initiated Praxedes’ disassemblage and the destruction of her programming rolls.  One such roll has since been recovered, but the schematics to return the automata to working condition have yet to be discovered.

Author: Jay