Engels Brothers
Fictional Group
Southern Victory
Appearance(s): The Center Cannot Hold;
Return Engagement
In at the Death
Nationality: United States
Members: Karl Engels,[1] three others unnamed
Years Active: Started in 1920s, still active in 1945
Occupation: Entertainers

The Engels Brothers were a group of four actual brothers from New York who, after serving in the Great War, became vaudeville icons in the United States. Their name came from the enormous fuzzy beards of different colors they used as props. There was one red beard, one blue, one yellow, and the fourth left his beard its normal black. They also had certain personality quirks: the one with the black beard talked a great deal; the one with the yellow beard didn't talk at all, but was extremely limber; the one with the blue beard tried to be orderly; and the one with the red beard was something of a lecher.[2]

One of their acts, performed in Los Angeles, had the four brothers begin pelting each other with oranges. Most of the oranges hit their female straight person. The act concluded with the black bearded brother turning to the audience and asking "Orange you glad you aren't up here?"[3]

Their fame on the stage led them to film and recording careers. During the Second Great War, the Engels entertained U.S. troops behind the lines.[4] In 1943, they recorded an anti-Confederate novelty song called "Featherston's Follies."[5] They also made propaganda shorts.[6]

See Also[]


  1. In at the Death, pg. 487, TPB.
  2. The Center Cannot Hold, pgs. 111-112.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Return Engagement, pg. 250.
  5. Drive to the East, pg. 263.
  6. In at the Death, pg. 231.