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Vaudeville was among the most popular theatrical genres of nineteenth-century France. Rooted in classic comedy (unlike British and American vaudeville), French vaudeville was a precursor to the modern television sitcom and was at the forefront of changes that remade theatre into a spectacular media product. Vaudevilles portrayed the pursuit of social status in satirical send-ups that suggested the ways in which consumption was becoming a vehicle for the performance of new forms of identity and social exchange. In its connection to consumer culture, vaudeville invites us to reconsider assumptions that have tended to inform our readings of bourgeois and popular culture.