Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Numa, Clown Cat

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.

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