Saturday, January 15, 2011

Smoking in the Laundry

The Danish Film Institute preserved this excerpt from the Ham and Bud comedy The Winning Wash (1915). More than half of the footage is missing, but the plot is simple enough that it doesn't matter much. The tramps, as crude and violent as ever, are astoundingly able to acquire work at a Chinese laundry and are delighted to find a roll of money in a customer's pants. A similar plot was used in the Three Stooges' Sing a Song of Six Pants (1947). The highlights of Hamilton's comic improvisation occur after the tramp burns his backside on an iron and later when he shares a smoke with a dope fiend.