Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose of Doozy #4: Amusing Attractions: Harold Lloyd

106 posts in this topic

One cannot help but agree with Schickel; however, his statement is relative to the matter of “realist.” Several factors play a role in creating more realism in Lloyd’s comedies. Like Keaton, he preferred location to prefabricated set shooting, but even more so. Unlike Chaplin—who he started out imitating, and failed at doing—he strived for the most modern, streamlined look. While the scenes at Coney Island’s rebuilt Steeplechase Park and Luna Park may seem dated to us, now, they were a shining example of that streamlined look in 1928.

Wringing the humor out of a situation is the primary problem for any comedian, and the question is always, how do you make something funny? What will make more people laugh? By creating artificial situations that are less realistic or finding more realistic, everyday situations that lend themselves to humor? Actually it is something of a toss-up and we find that most comedians use a combination, but Lloyd, here, tended more toward the realistic. However, the audience still has to accept that the crab’s timing is better than the actors’ in knowing exactly when to pinch the unsuspecting victims. And what a way to end that clip, that the poor man who has just been whacked and gypped out of a kewpie doll will make do with a tip of the hat and be on his way!

At times Lloyd’s films really were rather exaggerated, perhaps not as much as Keaton’s, and certainly not as much as Chaplin’s. But in general never as much as either. Except when he put himself in extreme danger with outsized stunts (in “Safety Last” for example) and went in for the exotic (as in the talkie “The Cat’s Paw” in 1934). He did it some in Speedy with the outrageous driving gags and fight scenes.

But this brings us to another point about definitions. Early in the film we see him at work at a soda fountain and there is a great deal of fast and chaotic play with dishes and oranges. This is “violent” action. Violent action does not necessarily have to involve physical harm, it merely has to display fast and chaotic action, as it does here and elsewhere in Lloyd’s film with frequency.

Perhaps I’m missing something (wouldn’t that be unusual). Maybe the intercut montage with spinning spirals is something new. Maybe the animated crab is new. Otherwise I don’t see much new in this clip. However, in the film, overall, there was much of interest, old and new. Losing the flowers and his job in one slam of a car door. Getting a seat on the subway with a fish-line dollar bill. Using a balloon as a hot dog to lure a real dog. How many ways he abused his new suit and his own demeanor, including reusing the crazy mirror gag in an ironic way. Then hitting that man in the face while throwing the ball was a take-off from the Keaton-Arbuckle move in “Coney Island” more than a decade earlier (also a subtle dig about baseball fans not being able to throw a ball). Setting up house in the back of the moving van was very reminiscent of set-up gags Chaplin, Keaton and others had done. The cab gags were often reminiscent of many Keaton car gags, but the bit with the two men fighting was copied several times in later years by the likes of Abbot and Costello and Sid Caesar.

In The Circus (1928) we see Chaplin being chased on a moving circle, being lost in a mirror maze, being chased through an amusement park, imitating a statue, then a moving piece of a clock, being pickpocketed, being mistaken for a pickpocket and getting lost inside a magic box, all within the second act. Every one of these gags was invented by someone else and we had seen many of them before. We will see them again, and they will reappear in other genres, famously (the mirror-maze at the denouement of “Lady from Shanghai” for example). To paraphrase T.S. Eliot, the good ones borrow and the great ones steal.

 

All the way to current time the mystery pinch evidently never gets old. In this clip, it begins with the lady getting pinched and hitting Lloyd on the head, through the years the Stooges and others have done it, and a much later variation on the theme although not a crab or lobster, in Home Alone 2, Kevin escapes the villains by pinching a lady and letting the bad guys take the blame.

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1. In "Speedy" which was released  in 1928, we see a film that had the majority of its scenes filmed on location. Coney Island, New York City and in particular Yankee Stadium. We also see a cameo guest appearance by Babe Ruth himself. These locales are more in keeping with the idea of the "new urban America". Previous clips and discussions have looked at Chaplin and Keaton where we see the set as usually being out in an open field or a dirty street area. Or a rustic area like along the Mississippi River in "Steamboat Bill, Jr".  Remember the piano delivery to Keaton or the fact that Chaplin was "a tramp" also.  Lloyd instead has us visit Coney Island, drive through the big apple New York City in his cab and end up at Yankee Stadium. You don't get anymore urban than that.  As I had mentioned in a previous posting, I knew who Harold Lloyd was but was not very familiar with his body of work. The crab in the pocket prop adds to some quick reactions from people:  no one is exempt not even his girlfriend played by Ann Christy, or even more surprising himself from the claw pinch. Lloyd uses the ticket booth area, the spinning floor, hampster wheel, the giant slides, the food booths, the "Test Your Lungs" booth and finally the Baseball Throw Game to create his gags. We see these gags to be so natural and not exaggerated. We are led to believe that he has gotten sick from all of the food he has eaten but instead the gag on us is that he is doing the Test Your Lungs! The baseball throw could have ended up with a big vengeance deal but instead the twist of the gag is that the guy who had his ice cream cone smashed  in his face inadvertently helps Lloyd win the doll for his girlfriend. A happy ending!

2. Regarding Schickel's assessment of Lloyd I agree with his theory. Having watched some Chaplin and Keaton recently and read and listened to Vince Cellini and Dr. Edwards, I agree that their funny gags and well planned gags (8 years for the wall in "Steamboat Bill, Jr") are exaggerated in movement, reactions, and timing. Harold Lloyd's gags and demeanor are more natural, natural in the sense as to how an average guy would act and react. To use Schickel's words Lloyd is more "real" more "freer" of exaggeration! Glad I have learned about him and his style in this course.

3. I am impressed with his use of filming on location. Yes, earlier films were made in New Jersey etc but Lloyd has taken the crew to the real location to film i.e. Coney Island, New York City streets and Yankee Stadium. His use of a non comedic cameo star like Babe Ruth added another dimension of slapstick comedy. Again we see where the genius is best when making films under his own leadership i.e. The Harold Lloyd Corporation. I think that these are some of his contribution to slapstick history.

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1. In what ways does Lloyd use the settings, amusements, and attractions of Coney Island in pursuit of creating original slapstick gags?

 

Interestingly he uses the shorter bits (sliding down backwards, spinning off turntable) to set up the subtle sight gag where it appears he's puking but is actually blowing into a tube to test his lung capacity.

 

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?

 

Keaton's forte was "man versus object" (a train, a hurricane, a collapsing house) while Chaplin usually instigated his situations if not outright controlled them. Both also relied a lot upon physical expression, whether overt (Chaplin's moustache and eyebrows, his cane and his gait) or reactionary (the stark contrast of Keaton's acrobatic moves and his stoic expression). Much of what happened to Lloyd is accidental, and sometimes he is even unaware of *how* he got into the situation, and as a result he seems to be "going with the flow" as chaos happened around him. (Contrast the way he wins the kewpie doll and his behavior afterwards with Arbuckle winning the cigar at the fair in the earlier clip.)

 

3. In watching this clip, what contributions do you see that Lloyd added to the history of slapstick comedy?

 

Not certain if this was original at the time, but inserting the "spinning" image between the various eating and falling/sliding scenes led the audience to anticipate that he was going to be sick, which really sold the sight gag. Much more effective than simply running the actual scenes together.

 

Also, there's not a lot of meanness in Lloyd's slapstick. Chaplin punches, kicks and throws objects; Keaton is often battered and thrown about. Lloyd, on the other hand, seems more like the guy next door without any extraordinary skill, nor is he posed as exceptionally clever (Chaplin) or athletic (Keaton) even though in reality he was both. Subliminally he brought the "everyman" element - you rooted for the guy not because the obstacle (cops, collapsing buildings) was fierce, but because you *liked* him.

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Looking over everyone's comments, I don't think I'm contributing many new thoughts here.  It did seem to me that the crowded setting and close proximity of people really set up the comedy, and the spinning of the merry-go-round continuing into the next scenes was a nice touch.  The film was also at a more natural speed than the earlier ones.

 

Lloyd certainly seemed more natural, and such a good guy; like someone you would know from next door.  I like that he was a victim of the crab, too.

 

I'm not sure I know enough about Lloyd to see his contribution, other than I enjoyed this clip much more than the others so far!  I think he just seems more "one of us".

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Harold Lloyd is adorable. There is an absolute sweetness about him. He is not getting himself into trouble. Trouble isn't even necessarily following him. Just little mishaps here and there. But there is an utter charm about him. You smile as his goings on unfolds. He is in every day man in the end every day atmosphere. He uses everything around him and his comedy. But in a very subtle way. Did I mention the word charming :-)

Chaplain and Keaton have more of a manic feel to their gags and comics situations. And they themselves are a more caricature rather than an every day man.

Harold Lloyd is an absolute treasure in this genre. Chaplin Keaton and Harold all have their strengths. They're very different. It's almost like what movie do you feel like watching: something more athletic and over the top. Keaton. Something more silly but full of heart. Chaplin. Something more every day sweetness that puts a smile on your face it makes you giggle a bit. Harold Lloyd.

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DD # 4 AMUSING ATTRACTIONS: Harold Lloyd

 

1)  In what way does Lloyd use the settings, amusements, and attractions of Coney Island in pursuit of creating original Slapstick gags?

 

Settings...Coney Island becomes Lloyd's playground as he and his lady have a day filled with fun mishaps. Granted Arbuckle & Keaton used Coney Island 3 years prior to "Speedy" with the film "Coney Island", Lloyd takes us on a 'tour' of fun in is amusement park (with an extra partner in crime..Mr. Crab who in turn causes Lloyd nothing but trouble).

 

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?

 

Yea I agree...Lloyd is more like you and me and not like a down on his luck kind of a guy like Chaplin or a jinx like Keaton who tries to do the simplest thing like building a house but it always seems to go wrong very quickly. Lloyd happens into his misadventures.

 

3)  In watching this clip, what contributions do you see that Lloyd added to the history of Slapstick comedy?  Maybe his contribution to Slapstick Comedy is his gentleness. He's just there in the scene and something unpredictable happens to him and you don't want to see anything happen to him. It's like he's not trying so hard to make you laugh at what he's doing or what happens to him. Where Keaton always has that 'sad sack' look on his face, like he's saying "really is this happening to me". And Chaplin is the "Tramp" who finds a way to overcome his adversities and tries to one up 'the man' (the oppressor)....he's the 'little engine that could' kind of guy.

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1. I think other comments have covered how Lloyd used the amusement park setting for his slapstick but one thing I note through most of Lloyd's movies is that his comedies almost always involve some sort of romance. Romance is often either missing or downplayed in Chaplin's and Keaton's movies. As well as the slapstick bits here, you see little scene after scene at Coney Island that always include his girl and it is obvious how they feel about each other as they play, eat and share things together on this outing. I doubt Lloyd invented the romantic comedy but his movies seem closer in plot and spirit to a modern romantic comedy. I don't think it is a monstrous step from Speedy to Sleepless in Seattle or When Harry Met Sally.

2. I'm not sure Lloyd is more real but he is certainly more modern in how he plays his 'glasses' character. His acting seems more like what we would expect to see on the screen in a film made in recent times. His sound films bear this out for me.

3. One thing you see in Lloyd's films is that his character always seems to win through persistence and innate intelligence and creativity. The idea of the lead character being a winner is, I think, different from Chaplin or Keaton. Chaplin's tramp never seems to really improve his situation in life but merely to go on with occasional bright moments. Keaton is also often a loser in the end. Lloyd plays up pluckiness and intelligence to create an optimistic character, which may explain why he wasn't a success in his sound films, since optimism wasn't something that seemed appropriate to the early years of the Great Depression.

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1. The setting of Coney Island is particularly fond for me because I remember going on all those attractions as a kid. The crab in the pocket is a familiar gag, but the setting seems so realistic as compared to the absurdity of Keaton's settings or the depressed look of Chaplin's sets. The main difference I noted was that Lloyd's set-ups are faster and the action is tighter. Also, Lloyd himself just seems to be so real and natural.

 

2. Again, the appeal of Lloyd is that "Everyman" demeanor and expression. Keaton was always in absurd situations, truly as a victim. While Chaplin's settings were starkly real, Chaplin usually manipulated or was in control of the action. Lloyd always was the nice guy in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he did not always win. For me, it is easier to identify with Lloyd than Chaplin or Keaton. All three were hysterical, but Lloyd is just so much more human.

 

3. I believe that Lloyd's greatest contribution to slapstick was much more on the humanity than on the slap. His encounters here were simple and believable. Even in watching the clip with Babe Ruth, he reacted like a big kid. The driving scene, which was obviously with a special background and a stage set, was funny and you knew he wouldn't get hurt. It was just everyday life ... Maybe a modern comparison might be Kramer on Seinfeld.

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I like the fact that  he is a man just trying to show his girl a good time. In doing so he encounters a few flubs along the way. I also like how he uses the scene where he eats all that food and in the next scene  he has us fooled into thinking one  thing when it turns out its something totally different. a scene used in many a comedy in the future. I also like how LLOYD seem more at ease with his gags like they come  natural. Chaplin was more simple Keaton was more props everything happens to  him kind of comic whereas LLOYD was more he  encountered things in hi day to day  doings he uses whats around him he.s not like bumbling around things just happen around him and he just happens to be the man it happens to he seems to be more at ease with what happens to him. LLOYD added that he happens to be around when things go wrong kind of guy. it Doesn.t seem like He,s trying to be funny we laugh because he,s there when it happens then he,s on to the next thing, 

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I had never seen any movies with Harold Lloyd prior to this class.  Not sure I even knew he existed.  Probably due - in part - to his not releasing the movies.  So am I sharing some additional information on Lloyd which I saved to my You Tube Watchlist, after I get through all the movies in the class.  Hope you enjoy!

 

First is a link to a playlist of a 1983 PBS special on Harold Lloyd entitled Harold Lloyd - The Third Genius.

 

 

The next is when Harold Lloyd was featured on Ralph Edwards "This is Your Life".

 

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I agree that Harold Lloyd seems more natural in his gags in this particular film as opposed to Keaton or Chaplin. Keaton you sets his gags up a little bit more like he is clumsy and Chaplin seems more in control of the environment around him. They are all still great in their own way. This may be a little off topic but since we are also supposed to be learning how these early pioneers of slapstick inspired others, I was thinking about how Tim Allen in his show Home Improvement had quite a bit of slapstick involved. If anyone of you have seen that show you will know what I mean. Like when he falls through the roof after trying to avoid the bad parts of the roof he is repairing, slipping on the snow covered roof and getting his tongue stuck to the hammer and gluing his head to the table.

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Harold Lloyd is the common man to which things will happen, and resolves them to the common man. During his visit to Coney island, suffers from "accidents" that give cause for the various gags, but these are those who can pass them to any.  In addition is a humor more collective, since participating also others people of them situations comic, that, on the other hand, are immersed in a plot more. We could say that the gags accompany the plot, but are not the main item on the page. This it gives to the film a greater sense of reality. This can be one of the contributions of Lloyd to the cinema.

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I have seen this movie several years ago and I enjoyed it then as I do now. Coney Island adds to the film and provides several opportunities for gags. I think that it gave a view of an amusement park to the majority of the country that had more than likely seen one. It added to the novelty to the film.

 

Lloyd reminds me of the boy next door or the ordinary man in his films. His gags could have happened by accident to the man on the street. Whereas Keaton took months to plan out his gags (which were wonderfully funny as well, but different) and Chaplin was like a well mannered tramp. They were all funny but I think that Lloyd's gags could probably be related more the the vast majority of audiences.

 

Lloyd's contributions to slapstick close day is for the reasons I stated above. He brought it to the masses and took it to a different level.

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I've never seen this film and enjoyed the clip.  It shows an average guy out with his girl, enjoying the amusement park.  I don't know how he got the crab in his pocket, but it's not him who is getting fresh with the woman at the ticket booth.  It's the crab.  And so he's completely bewildered by getting hit by her in retaliation!

 

The people who normally get tossed from that first ride are followed by others, including his girl, who lose their balance after getting pinched by the crab.  Finally, the same thing happens to him. But he's still completely oblivious as to what happened! 

 

Later, when his back is to the camera and his girl is patting his back, I really did think he had gotten sick from all the food he ate.  But when the camera pulls away, the joke is on me as he's actually doing the lung test thing!  Then instead of getting socked by the man he accidentally hit in the face  when he was winding up to take that pitch, that guy wins the prize for his girl!!

 

There's no exaggerated facial expressions, gestures, mannerisms, movements, etc. The film clip action isn't frenetic as in the Chaplin and Keaton clips. No buildings falling down, no crazy car chases. It's just a slice of Lloyd's character's day at Coney Island with his girl.  He's just an average guy to whom things happen to without his awareness or intent...   The action is more refined...

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I've seen the clip and truly appreciate Lloyd.  When you watch it -it is totally relatblbe in that everyone wants to go to the amusement park or to go on rides and have fun.  We see specific things that we know go with this type of outing and the relationship between the characters and then gags ensue.  We can appreciate Lloyd because it doesn't seem contrived, but something that really could happen when our luck starts to fail and issues appear. I believe Lloyd showed that you don't need elaborate props or sets to make people laugh, but that anything, done properly can get a laugh out of people.

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Ive several of Harold Lloyds films and a common theme in most of Lloyd's movies is that his comedies almost always involve some sort of romance. Romance is often either missing or downplayed in Chaplin's and Keaton's movies. As well as the slapstick bits here, you see little scene after scene at Coney Island that always include his girl and it is obvious how they feel about each other as they play, eat and share things together on this outing. I doubt Lloyd invented the romantic comedy but his movies seem closer in plot and spirit to a modern romantic comedy.

2. I'm not sure Lloyd is more real but he is certainly more modern in how he plays his 'glasses' character. His acting seems more like what we would expect to see on the screen in a film made in recent times. Hes less clumsy than some of the other comedians

3. One thing you see in Lloyd's films is that his character always seems to win through persistence and innate intelligence and creativity. The idea of the lead character being successful in the end is different from Chaplin or Keaton. Chaplin's tramp never seems to really improve his situation in life but merely to go on with occasional bright moments. Keaton is also often a loser in the end. Lloyd plays up pluckiness and intelligence to create an optimistic character, which may explain why he wasn't a success in his sound films, since optimism wasn't something that seemed appropriate to the early years of the Great Depression.

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Really enjoy Harold Lloyd and my 14 year old granddaughter enjoys him even more than I do.  I loved this clip.  It's just so everyday, that again, most people can identify with what the characters are doing and with some aspect of the characters themselves.

 

Loved the look on the girls face when they were buying tickets.  She looked so happy and excited to be enjoying the day with her fella.

 

Harold always had a gentleness to him and you could empathize with the challenges that his characters faced.  You were rooting for him to overcome adversity and get his girl!  In this case, they are just  out having fun and accidentally socking a guy in the face so his girl could win the doll was a great bit. 

 

He never tried "too hard", it just seems to come to him so easily that you can forget the time and effort that went into the bits of business.  Really thought he was losing his many lunches and then saw the lung effort machine, that was nice.  Making us think one thing and then seeing something else.   A laugh of relief. 

 

Guess what I'm trying to say is that with others flashes of comedic brilliance, the quiet humor of Harold Lloyd sometimes just hits the right part of the funny bone.

 

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It took me quite awhile   to admire Harold Lloyd. I thought Keaton and Chaplin were the best at classic slapstick.  But after watching almost all of his films I appreciate his "every man" persona.

I could easily see my self in any one of his slapstick gags. Just walking down the street or being at work, some of his gags could happen to me. He just wants to be a normal guy having a normal day out. And that's what makes him more real or on our level than Chaplin and Keaton.

A house fall on me? ( Keaton)  Don't think so.  Cooking and eating an old shoe for dinner? (Chaplin) No way.  Trying to play an arcade game and accidentally hitting someone as you throw a ball? (Lloyd) Yep. that would be me!

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I am only replying to the third question, since many other posts have already covered the first and second questions.....so....

 

3) In watching this clip, what contributions do you see that Lloyd added to the history of slapstick comedy?  

 

In the Chaplin and Keaton films, there is no shortage of reaction from these comedic pro's, but with Lloyd - it seemed much more like the camera gave us Lloyd's perspective rather than us being in the audience observing these reactions.  So, while we have major reaction to circumstance from Chaplin, and a lack thereof from stone face Keaton, with Lloyd, the camera helps us "get in his head"

 

Case in point - the mirrors scene in Coney Island.  We see what Lloyd is seeing, but the camera helps us understand it from his point of view, instead of us being an observer to the antics of the Tramp or the challenges the world presents to Keaton.

 

This may be just another aspect of the humanized aspect of Lloyd that others have commented upon.

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By the way, don't forget, there are two other clips from "Speedy" on the same page...

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.

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We don't know how a crab got into Lloyd's pocket just from watching the clip, but it is hilarious in how it pinches the lady and you can almost hear her yelling "FRESH!" as she hits the confused Lloyd. The same applies to the wild ride on the spinning wheel (a ride I wish would be revived).

 

The scenes of Lloyd and his girl enjoying the other activities adds a simple touch to the film, showing everyday leisure life in the late 1920's. There's no outrageous stunts being done, all the gags are done UN-intentionally. They just happen without Lloyd realizing it. He teases us when we think he is barfing after eating all that sugary or fried midway cuisine but then the joke is on is when we see he's just testing his lung power on a machine.

 

He is tempted to win a Kewpie doll for his girl and the gag happens naturally when he accidentally hits the guy behind him. At least he is smart enough to duck--and he inadvertently wins the Kewpie doll for his girl!!

 

Indeed this is slapstick at a more relaxed pace. The gags occur naturally and don't seem forced. Nor are they as acrobatic as Keaton's. The scenes at Coney Island do remind us of the days of amusement parks past and the things we wish were still around.

 

Lloyd is also a very likeable everyman. You want to root for him. He is also seen as a gentleman type as he wants his girl to like him and does his best to be romantic. Keaton's wife in "One Week" is kissing him one moment, berating him the next.

 

Lloyd's contributions, I believe, are scenes from everyday middle class life and gags that popup naturally.

 

P:S: I discovered the Alloy Orchestra via "Speedy", where they did took us for a WILD ride with the percussion instruments and the non-stop madcap tempo made me a fan. Their scores for silent comedies are spectacular and I highly recommend seeing them if they come to your town.

 

 

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Harold Lloyd...we all know him, he's one of us but with a crab in his pocket. The action is so much smoother,so much more the way we normally experience our world. The laughs come from seemingly uncontrived actions that surprise Harold as much as us. The humor doesn't depend on vindictive actions like mallets to the head or kicks to the pants or over the top actions like the incredible falling house. There is also the element of romance, which Keaton was starting to show us in One Week. The lung tester was a wonderful gag brought about by great placement in the plotline and the audience's own imagination. I feel that Lloyd's lasting gift to comedy was the way he involved all of us in his elegantly simple craziness.

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1.  IMHO, the best gag involved the food vendors.  Who doesn't want to try everything?  Lloyd's appetite makes the perfect setup, and just when we think we're watching an unfortunate ending, the camera zooms out, and we see we've been had.

2. Lloyd was not so much "freest of" but freed from "exaggeration and stylization;"  we could empathize with Chaplin, and relate to Keaton, but Lloyd's gags mirrored real-life situations.  I do agree that Lloyd was far more realistic than his predecessors for the same reasons.

 

3. Lloyd was heir to the vast Slapstick "fortune," all that had been contributed since the stage days of the Harlequin.  His career represents a fine stewardship, carrying on core traditions (physical gags, some ritual repetition), leaving his own distinctive mark, and setting up fresh investment opportunities for the acts that will follow. 

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1. Where else but an amusement park would one expect a crab to be in ones pocket?  :-)  And while this has expected comic results, it is used as catalyst for subsequent carnival rides of spinning and falling, added with carnival food, rich and elaborate - these items all set up an expected result of violent illness, but Lloyd fools the audience expectation by showing that he is not gagging but blowing into a lung-testing game (very similar to the "high-striker game" of Gag #3).    This transitions to the milk bottle game, which Lloyd is horribly inept at, but accidentally gets the assistance of a passerby, in an attempted act of revenge.  The doll is 'won' for his girl.

2. Lloyd is definitely the more middle class character, aspiring to achieve, founded more in reality, with comic occurrences out of normal circumstances.  Audiences could relate to him directly, as themselves or someone they know.  Keaton's world was more surreal, based on bizarre props, and/or unconventional uses or occurrences.  Even his character is unrealistic in its never-changing stoic expression.  Chaplin's focus is sympathy for the poverty stricken character, not so eager to advance, but clever enough to survive and achieve in the times he is motivated.  Its his humor and heart that endear him.

3. Lloyd established great comedy of the common man.  So much of silent slapstick was driven by grosteques, either in appearance (make-up, costume) or in absurd actions.  Lloyd's character is the "boy next door", humble but determined, pursuing his goals, and eager to please, who happens to end up in comic situations, and perseveres. 

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1. In what ways does Lloyd use the settings, amusements, and attractions of Coney Island in pursuit of creating original slapstick gags? Be specific.

 

One stands out--the stack-of-bottles game where the mean guy throws the ball that wins Lloyd the doll. 

 

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?

 

Lloyd isn't a character like Chaplin and he doesn't keep a stone face like Keaton. He's somebody you might expect to see walking down the street. Where Chaplin would wheedle out of something he didn't want to do, and Keaton would face it and do it as well as he could, Lloyd would be swept along by circumstance, more like a modern anti-hero. He comes through though he's out of his depth. 

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