Israel Bresner, who went by the name "Slym, the Shadow" (that's "slim", not "slime"), entered showbusiness at the age of six, when the extraordinarily tall child rode around town on a wagon, promoting the upcoming circus. As an adult, he stood seven feet tall and weighed just 90 pounds. He came from a family of all average-sized people and had a brother, Al Lang, who was an actor in Hollywood.

During the off-season Slym worked for an advertising agency as part of a strange promotional gimmick: he used to wander the streets of major cities with a group of midgets as a traveling advertisement for cold medicine. Tall Slym, presumably dressed to downplay his emaciation, played the man who took the medicine, while the midgets were the poor saps who turned it down.

I've seen evidence that Slym called himself "Jim Coffey" for a time, suggesting that the memory of J.W. Coffey, the original Skeleton Dude, was still fresh in the minds of 1930s fairgoers.

Created 2.8.09.