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Pierre Fournier

Very good post, Thom. To your introductory list, I’d add Shemp ironing Moe’s pants bottom while Moe is still wearing the pants. I swear, there is nothing funnier on Earth.

Thanks for running this Blog-a-Thon. It’s a lot of work, and it is much appreciated.

Edward Copeland

W.C. Fields had more ways to make fumbling with his hat funny that one would think could be humanly possible.


Thanks Pierre and Edward.

Pierre - Shemp's pants pressing predicament sounds hilarious. I'll have to track that one down. I recently discovered this excellent and robust site chock full o' Stooge info. I'll wager I can find it there.

Edward - That's a fact. When I think of funny subtle gestures I usually think of Oliver Hardy twiddling his tie, but Fields shows off his mastery of them in the The Bank Dick.

Joe Thompson

Thom: Your post serves as a very good introduction to slapstick. I like the way you bring it all the way back to the Lumière brothers.

Thank you for organizing the blog-a-thon. I've enjoyed every post so far.

Joe Thompson ;0)


Thank you, Joe.

I agree the posts make for great reading. One of the things that I admire about the writing of film bloggers is how descriptive we can be about films and filmmakers we love and/or are interested in sharing with others. Some of these film bloggers have even promised to write more as the blog-a-thon continues through the weekend, so perhaps the best is yet to come.

Now, I think I'll settle in with a double bill of Arbuckle shorts and Raising Arizona.


Thom, this is beautiful writing!

I must confess that I never really liked slapstick, but your exploration of this kind of cinema is thought provoking. Verrrry interesting . . .

Congratulations on your blog-a-thon!!!


Hold on everybody, put down your selzer bottles and stop throwing pies for second—film artist and poet Jmac is in the house!

A heartfelt thank you, J. As you're not a big fan of slapstick it's very nice of you to lend your support to the blog-a-thon. If you like my writing here you should read what the rest of these brilliant bloggers are posting :)

And if you should get in the mood to dip a toe into the waters of slapstick may I recommend Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr. and/or the first act of The Play House for you? The self-reflexivity, absurdity, technical experiementation, and Keaton's own accomplished acrobatics might speak to the experimental cinema lover in you even as they help you laugh.

Thanks again, J.

... Ok, everyone start whipping pies again, call the Keystone Kops back, and someone tell Charlie, Roscoe, and Mabel to start making a ruckus!


:) You make slapstick sound so sexy! I haven't seen a Buster Keaton film in a long time, and you are so right about him. I'll check out the other writers in the blog-a-thon too!

Also, is slapstick a primarily American thing? I seem to recall a French filmmaker who made a slapsticky work about his bicycle, it was delightful. As you can see, I'm not the expert here! Pie in the face ... :)


J - [throws a cream pie] European screen comedians like André Deed, Max Linder, Jean Durand's Les Pouics troupe and others made slapsticky films for Pathé, Gaumont and Itala that pre-date the founding of Keystone in America in 1912 and the great heyday of silent slapstick. [ducks the expected return fire] Luke over at The Bioscope is posting a series on some of the earliest European screen comedians starting right here. I'd also advocate the trick films of Méliès as being influential because so many of his in-camera tricks turn up in slapstick films.

Do you recall the title of that bicycle film?


That might be a Jacques Tati film, I'd bet. Probably Jour de Fete. I strongly considered writing on Tati for this 'Thon. I also flirted with Harold Lloyd, Jackie Chan, and the influence of silent comics (particularly Chaplin) on Warner Cartoons of the 1930s. But for various reasons I finally settled on Buster Keaton.


Hey Brian! That's it! Jacques Tati!

Thom, I do not think that I've seen Andre Deed, Max Linder, and Jean Durand's films. Thanks for this info! I see I have a lot of films to see & reading to do here.

On to Brian's Buster Keaton . . .


Brian - Thank you. And now I need to add Tati's film to my queue (did I mention yet that it's so overflowing that I might have to get a second account?). The exchange of films and filmmakers is one of my favorite results of the blog-a-thon.

Jen - Back for more? :) Brian's post is about another one of our favorite Keaton films and he raises some excellent slapstick questions too.

funny videos

Great writing keep up the good work.


Thanks for the encouragement. There's some funny stuff going on over a your own blog, I must say.

Tom Raymond

Another of the virtues of slapstick is that it transcends language. You can play Charlie Chaplin's silent films anywhere around the world, and have the same laughter resulting.


That's a good point, Tom. Perhaps that's a large part of what drives the entertainment value of slapstick across time, space, and cultures with greater ease than other forms of comedy that do rely on language.

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