Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Durable Humor of The Bear

Super Troopers 2 (2018)
Bears have been a source of comedy from the early days of film comedy.  The 1909 film Masquerade Costume (1909) involves a man who dresses in a bear costume for a masquerade party.  When he leaves the house, his neighbors panic thinking he's an actual bear. 

Other comedies involve a panic created by a man dressed in a bear costume.  Take, for instance, Billy the Bear Tamer (1915).


The earliest-known comedy with an actual bear is the 1911 Lux comedy Patouillard et l'ours policier (loosely translated as Policeman Patouillard and His Bear)

Mack Sennett exploited the comic potential of the bear in a number of films, starting with The Brave Hunter (1912, Biograph).   A trained bear could always find work with Sennett.

Modern comedy is still drawn to the big furry beast.  Take, for instance, Action Point (2018). . .

. . . and Super Troopers 2 (2018).

Bear comedy is discussed at length in my book "The Funny Parts."

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