Tuesday, December 29, 2015

End-of-Year Cleaning

I always like to clean up my office and clear out my files at the end of the year.

Wow, my typewriter has a lot of dust on it!

Let us now see what I have lingering in my files. 

I can never get enough of Max Linder.  This is a portrait of Max that was distributed to press outlets to promote Max in a Taxi (1917).

An old comic vaudeville gag got a monstrous twist in a recent episode of Face Off.

Something more monstrous is this photo from Star Spangled Rhythm (1942), which features Arthur Treacher, Walter Catlett and Sterling Holloway performing the musical drag number "Sweater, Sarong & Peekaboo Bang."

I recently wrote an article about the Fox comedy extravaganza Skirts.  A hand-colored still from the film just happened to turn up on Facebook.

Buster Keaton performed an early version of the head-caught-in-a-banister routine in The Haunted House (1921).

I always love a good animated gif.


The mirror has always been a rich source of amusement.

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Buster Keaton

Mary Pickford in The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917)

Laurel and Hardy never turned down an opportunity to perform the hat mix-up gag.  This is a threeway hat mix-up, which is a difficult trick and should not be attempted by amateurs.

Here's a hat roll trick from Charlie Chaplin.

Eddie Cantor performs an interesting variation on an old Max Linder routine in Kid Boots (1926).

Holiday Leftovers

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
I hope that everyone enjoyed their time off for Christmas.  Christmas is the one time of year when every man and woman can, without a twinge of shame, behave like a child.
Anita Page
If you have been following my blog lately, you know a few ways to identify the comic man-child.  The man-child is fond of dogs.

Buster Keaton in Our Hospitality (1923).
W. C. Fields in Poppy (1936)
Harold Lloyd
Keaton, again
Charlie Chaplin
Vera-Ellen, Red Skelton and Fred Astaire in Three Little Words (1950)
Bob Hope
The Three Stooges in Calling All Curs (1939)
Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin in Living It Up (1954)
Christina Applegate and Will Ferrell in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004).
Jonah Hill, Seth Rogan, Jason Segel and Paul Rudd
Paul Rudd in Our Idiot Brother (2011)

The man-child enjoys taking a warm bath.

Buster Keaton and Sybil Seely in One Week (1920)
In Blazing Saddles (1974), Slim Pickens helps Harvey Korman to find his favorite bath toy, Froggy.

The man-child likes to ride a bicycle.

Al St. John
The Three Stooges
Dean Martin, Janet Leigh and Jerry Lewis during the filming of Living It Up, 1954.
So, then, you may now think that you could easily recognize the man-child.  Be aware, though, that other key man-child traits are still to be discussed in upcoming posts.  The traits are sometimes obvious.  A man adding earmuffs to a gentleman in a portrait qualifies as clear and irrefutable evidence of a childish nature.

Harpo Marx
Uninhibited leaping is a sign of a childish nature, too.  In My Girl (1991), Macaulay Culkin and Anna Chlumsky demonstrate the carefree way that children leap about in their playful escapades.

We see that leaping, too, with the comic man-child.

Bing Crosby and Bob Hope
Martin and Lewis
Martin and Lewis, again
Martin and Lewis, again
Harold Lloyd
Danny Kaye
Paul Rudd, Will Ferrell, David Koechner and Steve Carell in Anchorman The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

Of course, reading my book will undoubtedly turn you into a bona fide scholar on the subject.

E. H. Calvert and Groucho Marx in Horse Feathers (1932)
I have to briefly postpone the "Get to Know Your Man-child" series as my son is coming to spend a few days with me.  For now, you can enjoy a couple of clips from the Colgate Comedy Hour, which often treated viewers to the childish antics of Martin and Lewis.

Read more about the comic man-child in I Won't Grow Up!: The Comic Man-Child in Film from 1901 to the Present.