Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Rise of the Comedy Feature: Introduction

On October 23, Open Road Films will release a new Bill Murray comedy, Rock the Kasbah.  This is yet one in thousands of comedy features that have been released in the United States during the course of film history.

The feature film comedy had its 100th anniversary last year.  Just as anything else in our lives that is overly familiar, it is easy for us to take the comedy feature for granted.  It is normal for a person to see this form of entertainment as something that has always been around and always will be around.  But a comprehensive examination into the origins of the comedy feature will reveal the awkward struggle that filmmakers had in introducing the long-form comedy film to the marketplace.

Join me tomorrow for the start of a three-part article on the rise of the comedy feature.

I mentioned in a recent post that Peter Reitan has written an excellent series of articles on the pie-in-the-face gag.  His latest article has special significance in that it provides a photo of the first Pie-in-the-Face Recipient and a photo of the first Pie-in-the-Face Thrower.  I advise you read the article at

I will close today with a few magazine clippings.

Lloyd Hamilton lunches with a faux Teddy Roosevelt in The Movies (1925). 
A wife and husband (Billie Rhodes and Smiling Billy Parson) sleep in separate beds in Bill's Predicament (1918).
Hank Mann struggles to rescue Madge Kirby from the electric chair in Mystic Mush (1920).
Hugh Fay and Neely Edwards get into the spirit-summoning business in the Hall Room Boys comedy Tell Us, Ouija! (1920).
Here is more action from Tell Us, Ouija! (1920).
George B. French, Eddie Barry, Harry L. Rattenberry and Billie Rhodes in the Christie comedy Tramp, Tramp, Tramp (1916)


  1. At mostly lost this summer we saw TELL US OUIJA except then we knew not the title. Now we do thanks to this article.