Sad News: Hokum Jeebs, R.I.P.

Hokum Jeebs, R.I.P.

This article is from the Seattle Times.  Hokum Jeebs was a very well known and well respected street performer and variety entertainer.  This is sad and stunning news.

Suspect, 19, arrested in fatal

stabbing in West Seattle

Professor Hokum W. Jeebs was fatally stabbed in his West Seattle home early Wednesday. Jeebs was a gifted piano-player and vaudeville performer. A 19-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of homicide in connection with the slaying.

By Sara Jean Green Seattle Times staff reporter

Professor Hokum W. Jeebs was stabbed to death early Wednesday.

Professor Hokum W. Jeebs was stabbed to death early Wednesday.

Vaudeville performer Professor Hokum W. Jeebs was a gifted piano-player whose collection of ragtime music dated back to the mid-1800s, according to a close friend.

Hokum Jeebs (courtesy Wikimedia)

Born Robert Stabile to an Italian-American family in upstate New York, the 60-year-old — who was known by the stage name he adopted as a teenager — was fatally stabbed in the chest early Wednesday in the West Seattle home he shared with his partner, Dr. Anita Shaffer, said Jeebs’ longtime friend and fellow performer, Doug McKechnie, of Oakland, Calif.

Seattle police later arrested a 19-year-old man, who was booked into the King County Jail just before 3 p.m. Wednesday on investigation of homicide. The man, who does not appear to have a criminal history, is expected to make his first court appearance Thursday.

According to police, a woman called 911 at 12:15 a.m. Wednesday to report that her partner had been stabbed by another man inside their house in the 9300 block of 44th Avenue Southwest. It was not immediately known where police arrested the 19-year-old or why they consider him a suspect.

McKechnie said their last conversation was Tuesday night: “He was saying, ‘I’ve never been happier … .’ ”

Jeebs, a street performer in San Francisco in the 1970s, also worked for a time as a performer at Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland in Tokyo, according to McKechnie and Jeebs’ online biography on the Puget Sound Theater Organ Society’s website. He moved to Seattle in the early 1990s and co-founded Hokum Hall, now known as Kenyon Hall.

In 2002, a Times reporter profiled Jeebs and his former business partner, Louis Magor, and wrote: “The shows are wacky productions rooted firmly somewhere between 1860 and the 1930s. They’ve done Ragstravaganzas, operettas and variety shows, Laurel and Hardy laughathons and Buster Keaton silent flicks.”


Here’s a video of Hokum performing a live show in 1983

And one of him performing on a show called The Lonesome Pine Special, featuring him performing as a one man band:

RIP Hokum– you will be missed.


  • New Vaudeville is Dead

  • I went to college with Bob at SUNY Potsdam. This has come as quote a shock to me. I always felt that of our class, he certainly was the most talented. For a couple of years we lived in the same house and I ended up performing is the Hokum W Jeebs Gupsy Medicine Show. It was Bob that gave me my stage name of Blatamere Fletcher, the Bumbling Blowhard from Biloxi. Bob certainly brought a lot of happiness to many people over the years. Bob, you were one of a kind and we are all going to miss you.

  • The last time I saw him perform was years ago in San Francisco and I so loved his work then…viewing the Lonesome Pine special yesterday after the news of his death made me see that not only was he a terrific musician, he had also mastered timing and stillness. So sorry to hear he’s gone.

  • Unfortunately the eventguyhawaii (aka Steve Hansen the Puppetman) died in his sleep in April at home in Hawaii.
    Farewell Steve and Hokum – New Vaudeville is indeed dead with the loss of two of its finest exponents now gone within months of each other.

    I worked with both Steve & Hokum on their respective tours of Australia in the late ’70s


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