Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Get to Know Your Man-Child, Part 5: The Man-Child Likes to Play Games with His Friends

Let us start with bowling.

Harold Lloyd
Bill Murray in Kingpin (1996)
Woody Harrelson in Kingpin (1996)
Aaron Ruell in Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Kelli Garner and Ryan Gosling in Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Jackie Gleason in "The Honeymooners"
 The man-child's great devotion to bowling was best exhibited in The Big Lebowski (1998).

A few man-child friends played checkers.

Laurel and Hardy in Brats (1930)
 A rare number played craps.

Roscoe Arbuckle, Sybil Seely and Buster Keaton
Abbott and Costello in Buck Privates (1941)
Even less picked up a ping-pong paddle.

W. C. Fields and Mary Forbes in You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939)
Comedy duos liked to compete on the tennis court.


Gathering around a pool table could be fun.  Of course, you did have to be careful with the pool cue.

Laurel and Hardy in Brats (1930)
Hillary Brooke, Lou Costello and Bud Abbott

Art Carney, John Griggs and Jackie Gleason in "The Honeymooners"

A pool room was W. C. Fields' favorite element.

Let me just clarify that marbles is no game, at any time, for a red-blooded American boy.

Golf is a more suitable game for the fearless male.

Golf allows a young man to get plenty of fresh air and  provides an opportunity for vital male-bonding.

Charlie Chaplin in The Idle Class (1921)
The Three Stooges in Three Little Beers (1935)

Tammany Young and W. C. Fields in You're Telling Me! (1934)
Oliver Hardy
Paulette Goddard and Bob Hope
Bob Hope and Bing Crosby at The Bob Hope Charity Tournament
Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in The Caddy (1953)
Ted Knight in Caddyshack (1980)
Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Dan Resin, Knight and Brian Doyle-Murray in Caddyshack
Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore (1996)
Sandler, again
Poker has remained a popular game for many ages.  It was played in every saloon in the Old West.

The Three Stooges in Goofs and Saddles (1937)
W. C. Fields in My Little Chickadee (1940)
Here it is being played on a Mississippi showboat in the late nineteenth century.

W. C. Fields in Mississippi (1935)
And it was popular throughout the twentieth century.

The Three Stooges in Ants in the Pantry (1936)
Fields in Tillie and Gus (1933)
Bud Abbott, Lou Costello and reporter Bob Thomas

The Marx Brothers in Duck Soup (1933)
Phil Silvers as Sgt. Ernie Bilko

As indicated by this still from The Odd Couple (1968), a poker game remained a common form of recreation for men in the 1960s.  Also, you can see a dartboard on the wall.  Slightly out of camera range is a battered bag of golf clubs.
John Fiedler, Herb Edelman, Walter Matthau, Larry Haines and David Sheiner in Odd Couple (1968)
For certain, the adult recreations of past decades were far different than today's man-child recreations.  Lou Costello wasn't into skateboarding around a skatepark or staying awake all night to play video games. 

The man-child friends of Knocked Up (2007) engage in impromptu games that have no clear rules or objectives.  One pair battle each other with quarterstaffs to see who can knock the other into a dirty pool of water.

Another pair  employ hockey equipment (mask, sticks and gloves) and a bicycle helmet for a newly invented combat sport.

A final pair box with gloves that have been soaked in lighter fluid and set ablaze.

In fact, life is nothing but endless play for this group.


Today, the man-child always seems to have easy access to a backyard swimming pool.

Will Ferrell in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Of course, the availability of a liquor cabinet often leads to drinking games.

Paul Rudd challenges Jon Favreau to a drinking game in I Love You, Man (2009)
One traditional game that has maintained its popularity in modern world is pool.

Vince Vaughan, Jon Favreau and Jason Bateman in The Break-Up (2006)
Read more about the comic man-child in I Won't Grow Up!: The Comic Man-Child in Film from 1901 to the Present.

No comments:

Post a Comment