Yeah, I was thinking substituting "mean"? Although it is not always manifested physically, so??? The ritual element is strong, and I'm wondering too how far back the rituals go. I can see them in professional wrestling and circus as well. Breaking down the rituals of a Popeye scene, I recall the theme music, the opening of the spinach can, the eating of the spinach, some legit slapstick, and the inevitable falling-down of whatever was punched up into the sky, which usually had been broken to pieces, and then re-assembled into something else. Gilligan's Island had some slap-happy moments too, but I don't know if the elements were more ritual or formula, or if that means the same thing here?
As another student mentioned, historical context is interesting here. I found myself wondering about the invention of the hose, for one thing. And looking into this particular film's history, I noticed that it was on the bill at the very first "film festival", for paying customers. Actually, the very first film screening with paid attendance. I also noticed that the Luminaire brothers may have been on the wrong side of history during WW2, so they were denied some honors in France. I loved the gardener's costume. That hat! That rubber-looking butcher apron! It didn't save him from the prank and his own ignorance. For me, the hose was the star of this production. It mirrored the action of the performers during the chaotic slapstick moments by spewing wildly. As someone who prefers the narrative to the visual at most times, I'm looking forward to this class with sight-gags being a key detail.