Thursday, December 12, 2013

Comedy Potpourri: Supplementary Film Clips and Other Content

It never fails.  I post an article that I believe exhaustively explores a subject, but then I comes across additional information that I wish I could have included in the article.  It is frustrating.  Take, for example, an article that I recently wrote about routines in which a character gets stuck onto something or stuck into something.  Only a week after I posted the article, I found two other routines that fall squarely into this category.

 Gilligan's Island ("Gilligan's Personal Magnetism," 1967)

Rhoda ("The Date in the Iron Mask," 1978)

I was amiss not mentioning this scene from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988) in my handcuff routine article.


I wish that this next clip had come my way before I wrote my firing squad article.  The comedian is Bobby Dunn.  The film is Villa of the Movies (1917).  You will also get to see an early example of a comedian riding a missile through the air.

This less than funny version of the hat mix-up routine is from the 1972 television film Evil Roy Slade (1972).

Those people who produce reality videos like to sometimes introduce traditional routines into everyday existence.  This is the human chair routine turned into a Halloween prank.

Last month, I posted a soup routine performed by Laurel & Hardy.  The following clip shows Jerry Lewis applying his unique talents to the same routine in Cinderfella (1960).

I have always said that a thin line exists between comedy films and horror films.  Sitcom viewers have laughed many times when a character got locked in a meat freezer, but that same premise can easily be used to elicit fright.  This becomes evident when Alexandra Daddario gets locked in a meat freezer in Bereavement (2010).  Warning: The scene includes a brief display of nudity.

I have found several new images online in the last couple of months.  I particularly like these illustrations of Billy Reeves.

Reeves plays a drunken man tangling with a leopard skin rug in The Club Man (1915).

I wrote in an earlier article that The Club Man was a forerunner of Charlie Chaplin's One A.M. (1916).

I found three more animated gif files of Buster Keaton.  This includes the graphic that opens this article.  I would like to give credit to the people who created these files but I cannot find appropriate attributions.  One credit indicated that the file was created by Willie McKay, which is the name of Keaton's character in Our Hospitality.

This is a very curious discovery.  Dhamaal (2007) is a Bollywood remake of the 1963 American comedy It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.  A group of goofs is still after a buried cache of money, except now the money is rupees instead of dollars.  The English translation of film's title is, simply, Fun.

In this clip from the 2011 series The Story of Film: An Odyssey, Mark Cousins discusses the ending of Roy Andersson's Songs from the Second Floor (2000).

This is similar to the ending of a classic American comedy film.  Do you know the film that I mean?  Here is a clue.

Okay, here is the original scene, which is from Laurel & Hardy's Block-Heads (1938).

I got to see the 1972 Dad's Army episode "Time on My Hands," which featured a tribute to Harold Lloyd's famous clock scene from Safety Last! (1923).

This is a great scene from the 1922 Hal Roach comedy Loose Change.  In the past, comedians escaped pursuers by pretending to be a mannequin or a statue.  This time, an unsavory gang of bank robbers avoids being detected by the bank president by pretending to be figures in an American history mural.

Speaking of the mannequin routine, a fast-paced variation of that routine is performed by Snub Pollard in this scene from Fifteen Minutes (1921).

What makes that scene unique, even more so than its pacing, is the fact that Pollard feels the need to wear a mannequin face to complete his disguise.  I cannot think of a single other time that a comedian had to go that far to make himself look like a mannequin.  It was usually sufficient for the comedian to remain perfectly still as he posed between a pair of mannequins outside of a clothing store.  I have to say that I find a mannequin mask to be creepy.     

Police corruption scandals made the police unpopular in Northern England at the turn of the Twentieth Century.  A film company located in Northern England, the Lancashire-based Mitchell & Kenyon, capitalized on this sentiment with a series of comedies that made fun of the police.  The most popular installment of this series was Diving Lucy (1903), which is featured in this clip from the BBC documentary The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon.

These films came several years before Mack Sennett's Keystone Cops.  The premise of Diving Lucy was expanded in later films, including Manual of a Perfect Gentleman (1908) and Funnicus is Tired of Life (1913).     

I will end this article today with two images of the irrepressible Larry Semon.

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