History of Glacier Entertainment

1898 to 1945

The beginning of

Glacier Entertainment, 1898 to 1945


Glacier Entertainment was founded in New York City in 1898 by two friends, Brian Horowitz and Neil Briscoe. Their idea was to perform short one act plays on Ellis Island for arriving immigrants. This proved to be a poor business model, as few immigrants arrived with any money.

Brian taking out his frustration on Neil after realizing how stupid their business plan was.

After making his way back to New York City, Neil attempted to save enough money to purchase a musical organ grinder. When that failed, he simply stole one which had been briefly left unattended at a street fair. Brian attempted to play the part of the monkey begging for change, however, his extreme fear of heights meant he never left the ground. Historians also suggest he looked ridiculous in the monkey’s outfit, and he was known to find humor in intentionally scaring young children. Neil’s attempt to “borrow” a real monkey from the Central Park Zoo taught him a tough lesson. Monkeys bite.

The wrong kind of organ grinder, and a monkey.

In 1926, Brian and Neil jumped on the popular “flag pole sitting” bandwagon as an attempt to draw audiences. Their attempts failed miserably as they were unaware that the poles were supposed to be positioned vertically.

Neil and Brian sitting on a horizontal flag pole. Notice how boring it is.

By 1930, with Prohibition in full swing, Brian and Neil changed direction and established the Glacier Speakeasy on the lower east side of Manhattan. Their aggressive advertising campaign and ludicrously simple password, “Hello,” quickly lead to this venture’s demise.

During World War II, Brian and Neil attempted to put Glacier Entertainment on the map with some propaganda films. The United States Department of War immediately labeled these films as “misguided, uninformed, and counterproductive to the overall war effort.” On the plus side, Brian and Neil received a very thoughtful “thank you” note from the Department of War after their equipment was melted down for scrap metal.

From the Glacier Archives

Click to enlarge.