In the 1920s, lion trainer Charles Gay exhibited more than 200 lions at the tourist attraction Gay's Lion Farm in Los Angeles. His lions were featured in a number of films. Gay's biggest movie stars were Slats and Numa. Slats, pictured below, was the serious thespian assigned to jungle adventures.
Numa, a friendly lion able to perform funny tricks, was used in comedy films for Sennett and others. Here is a picture of Numa looking as if he is ready to take a pie in the face.
Numa was such a big deal that he got to co-star opposite Chaplin. I found these pictures while researching my new book, which will include a passage on Numa.
I am looking at a wide range of material for this book. One early film that attracted my interest was How It Feels to Be Run Over (1900), which is first film to use a car crash for comedic effect.