Monday, July 1, 2013

Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink



A stock situation in silent film comedy was a luckless man becoming flustered by an uncooperative inanimate object.  A good example is provided by the 1921 Sennett comedy By Heck, in which Billy Bevan is humorously thwarted by a tricky water pump.  Billy West reprised the routine three years later in Not Wanted (1924). 

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A variation of the routine (in which the water pump was replaced by a water fountain) was performed by Abbott & Costello in Who Done It? (1942).  Costello is less fortunate than either Bevan or West as he must contend with both the water fountain and surly Abbott.

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Here, Ben Turpin outwits rascally cabinet doors. 


Love and Doughnuts (1921)

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More can be found about humorously troublesome inanimate objects in the "Mannequins and Other Dummies" chapter of The Funny Parts.

 
 

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