Dave Lightfoot

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About Dave Lightfoot

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  • Birthday 06/10/1980

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    Muncie, IN
  1. Dave Lightfoot

    Breakdown of a Gag, Episode 6: The Cameo

    ***WARNING: SPOILERS*** Or how about the remaining three Ghostbusters in the new movie? I enjoyed that immensely.
  2. 1. As you carefully watch the scene, what do you learn about the character of Hulot (Jacques Tati) as he walks up to his apartment? We learn that Hulot is a polite and patient man, as he discusses the girl dropping the tomatoes. He doesn't raise a temper, and walks away with a pep in his step. He's a kind man, as he gives the young girl two apples, which her mother takes away. 2. How is the building used to support Tati's physical comedy? As I said before, he is a patient man! I would probably go nuts or invest in a ladder to walk through that building! He tries to make the bird sing by adjusting the window. Then back down he goes.
  3. Dave Lightfoot

    Breakdown of a Gag, Episode 6: The Cameo

    I absolutely enjoy a cameo when I'm watching a movie. Especially if they are in a movie just released and you're trying to tell someone what you liked about the movie. It's almost like you're giving hints on why they should go see the movie. I would most likely say my favorite cameos were "Mean" Gene Okurlund and Jesse "The Body" Ventura in the parody movie "Reposessed." Also Hulk Hogan in "Spy Hard." Mostly because I'm a wrestling fan, but it was out of left field how they appeared in the movies. They are both Leslie Neilsen movies as well. Question for discussion. Does the cameo have to be the actual person playing themselves? Could we consider Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy portraying their characters from "Trading Places" (Mortimer and Randolph Duke respectively) in the movie "Coming to America" as a cameo? I always thought so.
  4. 1. How would you compare Abbott and Costello's style of verbal slapstick in this clip with Groucho and Chico's style from Daily Dose #6? I think the Marx Brothers style is more setting up for a joke rather than Abbott and Costello's style, which feels like it's a conversation leading up to a joke or punchline. 2. Wes Gehring's observation about the "polish" of Abbott and Costello's comedy routines is also a criticism of today's comedians that seem to lack "taste [and] timing." Even though it is a general comment, do you find yourself agreeing or disagreeing with Gehring's lament about contemporary comedy. I agree. Abbott and Costello can be funny without being raunchy or overly exaggerated. It's still funny and enjoyable. Today's comics seem to want to get to the blue jokes quicker, which can be used over and over. Abbott and Costello can take you on a trip and get you to the punchline and still can be just as good. 3. For those of you more familiar with the overall film career of Abbott and Costello (beyond this brief clip), what do you think is their biggest contribution to visual and/or verbal slapstick? Who's on First has to be their most famous clip. It's brought up in conversation and people immediately know what it means. The clip has also been parodied so many times, including one of Johnny Carson's famous skits as President Reagan talking to his press secretary about swimming with James Watt at the YMCA. If you haven't seen the bit (and I know we're studying movies), it's must see.
  5. Dave Lightfoot

    Daily Dose of Doozy #7: The Clown Tradition: W.C. Fields

    1. Compared to the last two Daily Doses, how does W.C. Fields verbal slapstick compare to and/or differ from Charley Chase and the Marx Brothers? WC Fields comedy seems more verbal than physical (except when he fights the girl and tries to fix the engine). Charley Chase seemed more physical than verbal. The Marx Brothers seemed to have the right amount of both. 2. Based on Alan Dale's definition of verbal slapstick, what are some of the characteristic verbal "gags" that you noticed in watching this clip? Feel free to share some of your favorite lines from the clip as well. I would say the comment he makes comparing his daughter's fiancé' name to a bubble in a bath. Maybe how he mentions the area in the pub needing Vaseline and having a pole moved and then transitioning to cod liver mining.
  6. Dave Lightfoot

    Breakdown of a Gag, Episode 5: Playing Games

    I have to say that I love...LOVE the baseball scenes in the Naked Gun movie. It's perfect. Lt. Drebin's reactions to each pitch, even later in the scenes when we see him uncorking a bat or cleaning the home plate with a vacuum cleaner, it's great. Actually, my old college roommate and I will randomly say movie lines when we hang out (yeah, we're weird) and probably the top one is "Yeahhhhhh strikeeee!"
  7. 1. How well does Alan Dale's definition of verbal slapstick fit the Marx Brothers? I believe the definition fits very well. Especially in the clip as both Groucho and Chico takes turns playing each other's straight man for every joke. Their banter has a quick back and forth motion that is rarely seen in comedies these days. 2. Can you identify specific "characteristic gags" that Groucho and Chico use in their on-screen performance of this extended verbal slapstick gag? When Chico points out that he didn't like the 1st or 2nd party of the second part, and Groucho says "Well, you should've come to the first party. We didn't get home 'til around four in the morning... I was blind for three days!" Another would be where Groucho points out the Sanity clause and Chico responds with "You can't fool me! There ain't no Sanity Clause!" 3. Which of the five conditions we associated with visual slapstick comedy (exaggerated, physical, repetitive/ritualistic, make believe, painful/violent) remain operative in the use of verbal slapstick in the movies? I would say all of the conditions can fit in verbal slapstick as well as visual. In our clip, we saw the contract being ripped multiple times and the "parties" mentioned would be a example of both physical and repetitive conditions. The back and forth banter could be both exaggerated and make believe. Maybe not in this clip, but in the movie there are multiple times where Groucho makes jokes that could be painful.
  8. 1. How well do the slapstick elements of this clip match up with the five conditions of slapstick proposed in Module 1 (exaggerated, physical, repetitive/ritualistic, make believe, painful/violent)? I believe this clip meets at least 4 of the 5 conditions, unless you count using an old school razor as violent? We see the repetition of the rose water perfume spray hitting Charley's face instead of his mouth (which, if it's perfume, you're not supposed to put any in your mouth, right) I believe the water hit him at least 4-5 times. It was physical as we see him trying to do all he can on the spot to get ready for a date with an attractive woman. Although, the other lady tried to get him to dance with her, he tried to escape her grasp, followed by a fist made once he tells her to go to the lunch boxes. I can see that as physical and almost bordering on violent. The exaggerated way of slapstick was shown as he tried to shave his face using the gentlemen's coat as a mirror as if it was so shiny, he could use it to shave. I agree with Schlinged on the make believe...who actually prepares for a date on the spot like that? Contrary to popular belief, it does take guys a little bit of time to get ready. Also, another make believe has to be drinking the rose water perfume. Who does that? 2. Do you find the clip confirming or challenging Gerald Mast's description of Charley Chase? Even in a short clip, do you get the sense that his greatest emotion is "exasperation?" I see this clip doing both. He's constantly frustrated with having to find unique ways to clean himself up, but he's very creative on making it work in his favor. Plus, everyone that gets in his way of getting ready on the spot is also frustrating. 3. As an early talkie that is transitioning from the "silent film era," how well do you think this scene uses synchronous sound and music in the construction of its gags? I think it does very well, especially with the perfume box. Each time it spits out perfume, the sound effect is spot on, and there is no delay between lines spoken and the music in the background.
  9. I loved the Babe Ruth clip. Almost reminded me of the beginning of "Dumb and Dumber" when Lloyd is taking the Mary Swanson to the airport. Wait, Lloyd takes Mary Swanson to the airport in a similar gag that Harold Lloyd took Babe Ruth to Yankee Stadium? Coincidence?? Ok, today's questions: 1. In what ways does Lloyd use the settings, amusements, and attractions of Coney Island in pursuit of creating original slapstick gags? Be specific. He uses the crab to "goose" people while he's in line for tickets to the merry-go-round ride. Then the same crab is used to make people slide off the ride. Also, the way he slides down the slide was hilarious. Funny how the director switched to another scene before the two were hit by another person sliding down the slide. Those transitions...very unique for that time as well. 2. Do you agree or disagree with Schickel's assessment of Lloyd as more "real" or "freer" of "exaggeration and stylization" than Chaplin or Keaton? Why or why not? I agree. Lloyd comes across in the movies and clips I have seen almost as looser than Chaplin. It seems like Chaplin was a little more timid in some of his earlier movies. Lloyd seems freer in his movies than Keaton because he's able to show more emotion when something is good, you can tell. When he's embarrassed, you can tell. Keaton seems to keep the same stone face. 3. In watching this clip, what contributions do you see that Lloyd added to the history of slapstick comedy? I think that Lloyd contributed that you can be looser and show more emotion than what Chaplin and Keaton did. Lloyd felt like, in my opinion, he goes through some of the situations that anyone can go through. Being hit by a mallet, being star struck by a celebrity and not realizing where you're going or doing, etc.
  10. I agree with Lloyd's enhancement of being hit by the hammer as he goes to the mirrors. The Arbuckle and Keaton scene seems as though after Fatty gets the cigar, the scene is over. Lloyd "milked" the hit to last a while by looking in the mirror. I haven't seen Coney Island or Number, Please, but I feel like the latter might be the better of the two movies.
  11. Before I answer my view of today's topic, I wanted to mention this as well. I watched this movie on archive.org after seeing the last episode of "Breakdown of a Gag," and thought it was pretty funny how they did include the fourth wall in the bath scene. Was this the first time the fourth wall was included? Were there other early movies that broke from the movie and did a fourth wall gag? The only later movie I can think of right now is Blazing Saddles. 1. What elements (set design, costume, prop, camera placement, acting) make this gag effective as visual comedy? Immediately, the prop that first comes to mind is the delivery guy bringing the piano and carrying it like its a sack of potatoes. I can understand that he's supposed to be strong, but as we see a few scenes later, the piano is supposed to be heavy. It made it a little unbelievable that the delivery man could carry a heavy piano in that style. Then dropping the piano on Buster? I understand slapstick needs some physicality and a pinch of violence to make it funny, but the way it was done seems like the next scene should have had Buster in a cast or something? Another prop would be the "ladder" that Buster brings out to meet the delivery man. It doesn't even last the first step. Although creatively later, using the porch rail as a ladder was very amusing. I also found the scene with the man in the middle of the room above where the piano was being brought into the house was great. 2. In what ways do you sense that Keaton's comedy differs from that of Charlie Chaplin? It seems as thought Keaton's comedy is way more physical than Chaplin. Chaplin tries to be the sneaky innocent comedian, as in yesterday's clip from "A Dog's Life." Keaton's comedy is more setup and action. Falling from the second story of the house in "One Week," having a house facade fall at the right moment in "Steamboat Bill, Jr." Keaton's comedy makes Chaplin almost seem like a mime type performance. 3. When you watch a scene like this with Buster Keaton, what contributions do you sense he added to the history of slapstick comedy? He adds that you can get just a big of a laugh with physical comedy than the traditional tell a joke and get a laugh. We see this type of comedy in (again, I sound like a broken record) Mel Brooks movies, the Naked Gun series, the Three Stooges, and others.
  12. Dave Lightfoot

    Daily Dose of Doozy #2: A Piece of Cake: Charlie Chaplin

    1. Similar to Agee and Youngson's perspective in Daily Dose #1, Canby makes a claim at the end of his analysis that there is something missing into today's visual comedies when compared to the silent classics. Do you agree or disagree with Canby? It makes sense that compared to the silent era, today's comedies are missing the visual comedy. I believe it's likely due to being able to verbally get to the joke instead of the physicality. If the same clip was created in today's moden comedy, the chef could have confronted Charlie instead of the physical ways of trying to catch Charlie in the act of stealing the cakes. I think Canby could be right with his statement, however, could a physical silent movie be made today and be successful without the verbal jokes? Yesterday, I pointed out the movie "Silent Movie" by Mel Brooks. Granted, it was more of a spoof of that genre but it's still funny and made in a more modern time, 1976 (a mere 46 years after the silent era had ended). 2. Beyond the placement of the camera in middle distance, what other elements (set design, costume, props, acting, etc) makes this gag effective as visual comedy? I would say the chef's reactions and attempt to catch Charlie. The constant looking behind, turning in circles and his faces he makes at Scraps the dog while Scraps was licking his face. Also just as funny is Charlie's way of eating the cakes. A little over exaggerated, but still funny nonetheless. Just how was he able to stuff all those cakes in his mouth without swallowing for a while? 3. What do you think a gag like this and its brilliant on-screen execution contributes to the history of slapstick comedy? It's definitely a constant in the classic animated short series. When we see Tom chase Jerry or Jerry trying to hide the baby elephant that he's panted brown like Jerry, the gig of being innocent and the guilty party hasn't done anything has been a staple of comedy far beyond slapstick.
  13. Dave Lightfoot

    Breakdown of a Gag, Episode 2: Keaton's Dangerous Stunts

    I have never sat down to watch a Buster Keaton movie before, but after watching today's episode, I'm wanting to watch more. It absolutely blows my mind how much risk he puts into getting a laugh. The fact that Keaton had only about one foot of clearance before he could have had some serious injury is unbelievable. Was there a small marker placed on the ground that would give him an idea of where to stand before the facades fell?
  14. I absolutely agree with this. In my opinion, Agee's opinion about the silent era being the golden age is being a bit biased since his article was written approximately 20 years after the era "ended." There were many more wonderful comedies made after his article that I feel are just as good as the silent comedies. Take Mel Brooks' "Silent Movie" for example. There's only one spoken word in that movie, ironically the word is said by Marcel Marceau. I feel documentaries are made to sell you on a view of a topic. Back in 1957, the world didn't have social media other than the editorial pages of newspapers and magazines to offer an opinion. It probably was easier to sell the idea that the silent era was the golden age of comedy. I will agree, the era helped bring new stars that we would make household names down the line...Lucy, Benny, Hope, Brooks and even Carson.
  15. Dave Lightfoot

    Breakdown of a Gag, Episode 1: Chaplin's Physical Comedy

    I found the use of the telestrator to discuss these clips of Chaplin very entertaining. It almost seems like a person would need one to explain the gag and the reason behind it. It also was interesting to see how his gags evolutionized (if that's remotely a word) from a simple slip of the banana peel, to more physical reactions (slipping on soap and water, using a trap exit to escape the cops). In later films, Chaplin does even more physical gags to make his career skyrocket. I'm excited to see more of this and others as we move along in this course. My DVR is going to hate me! ????

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