Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tidbits for August, 2015

I hope that everyone has been enjoying their summer.  I live in New Port Richey, which the local tourist board has appropriately dubbed "The Gateway to Tropical Florida."  The area's tropical summer storms and tropical summer heat have kept me indoors for much of the last two months.  In my forced seclusion, I have been working on a number of articles.  Here are the articles that you can expect to see in the next week or two: 
Broadway’s Funny Year: 1948
Comedy Spotlight: The Lost Bass Drum; or, Where Is That Looie? (1907)
The Rise of the Comedy Feature, Part 1: The Demi-Clowns of 1915
The Rise of the Comedy Feature, Part 2: Skirts (1921)
Why I Could Not Watch More than 15 Minutes of Trainwreck
Comedy Routine of the Day: “Who Died First?"
Comedy Routine of the Day: "Ghost in a Pawnshop"
Comedy Routine of the Day: "Jonah and Whale"
Comedy Routine of the Day: "Go Ahead and Sing"
Comedy Routine of the Day: "Crazy House"
Comedy Routine of the Day: "The Dice Bit"
A Tribute to Armstrong and Ashton
Flugel Street Revisited
Straw Hat Armageddon
Phantasmagoria of Nonsense: Tom Mix's Improbable Iron Horse & Other Film Faults
Also, I added a film clip from Bert Lahr's Faint Heart (1929) to my handcuffs article and I added a rare audio clip of Moss and Frye to my Moss and Frye tribute.

As always, my research has brought forth stray bits of business.  I thought that I would take this opportunity to share them with you.

The "carrying an unconscious woman" routine made it to Broadway as part of the 1941 play "All Men Are Alike."  The routine is enacted in this still by (left to right) Ian Martin, Lillian Bond and Bobby Clark.

It was interesting to read this Variety review of Babe London's vaudeville act.  She opened with a few jokes, performed a hula dance, and finished off playing an impossibly oversized five-year-old girl.

Here's Buddy Hackett in a publicity still for Fireman, Save My Child (1954).  You can find an article that I wrote about this film here.

Mickey Daniels serenades Mary Kornman in an Our Gang comedy.

Here we have Virginia Fox, Harry Booker and Tom Kennedy in a 1920 Fox Sunshine comedy called Monkey Business.

 Matthew A. Taylor, a Motion Picture News critic, wrote the following description of the film:
Almost all of the regular Sunshine troupe appear, not forgetting the score or so of girls who romp and dance to their hearts content in cabaret scenes.  This set is quite elaborate and is the center of considerable  action.  The second reel is the better of the two, containing some unique and side-splitting bits of action on the beach, when the supposed baby is stranded on a rock some distance from shore.  The player who dives in ankle-deep water should get a big laugh.
The film's slight plot has something to do with a shrewish wife who pursues her errant husband to the cabaret.  Kennedy would later appear in the classic 1931 Marx Brothers' film Monkey Business.

Carefully counting out his money is Harry Evanson, who was Bud Abbott's comic partner before Abbott joined up with Lou Costello.

Hank Mann and Madge Kirby ride in the back of a moving van in an unidentified 1920 Arrow comedy.

More baby doll havoc occurred in this scene from Ruby & Quentin (2003).

I now bring you something very special for the closing of today's article.  I have officially discovered the most obscure comedian of silent films.


  1. A George Clarke Reelcraft short reposes at the LOC. No opening titles on the print so the title is elusive. One gets the impression that Clarke is aping Harold Lloyd and Ben Turpin.

  2. Combining Lloyd and Turpin is a tricky feat. I admit that I did not know about Clarke until I came across this ad. You are a more knowledgeable fellow than I am. I should add, Tommie, that I love your YouTube channel.