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About MrDave

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  1. Old gags new again, I think it was so great using old gags and bringing them back to life in new incarnations. Whether they were recreated by newer talent or by the originals, i.e. The Three Stooges, Ed Wynn, etc. These are funny gags and what may be old to our grandparents are new fresh gags to us. Keaton was prime example of re-using his gags in Red Skelton vehicles or Marx Bros. films. It shows how tried and true the material is and how great the artists were who performed them.
  2. First, let me start by saying that I have never been too familiar with Charley Chase. Only from the Sons of the Desert film and his directing of The Three Stooges shorts, but I have become a huge fan of his. I found him to be a riot and got lots of laughs from him. In the film clip in the Daily Doozy #5 I found his comedy to be pretty much all the elements. His antics were exaggerated, physical with the perfume spray hitting him everywhere but his mouth and that was repetitive. It was painful to see him struggle to clean himself up, get hit in the face with the spray and even to run into "The pip from Pittsburgh". I believe his greatest emotion is exasperation. His struggle to clean up and nothing seems to go right any of the times. This being a Hal Roach produced short the music was useful in building up his scene and the rhythm. The music is Roach's trademark and a giveaway that it's going to be fun. On the whole, I found Charley Chase to be extremely funny. His movements, emotions and actions were quite exaggerated but I think that is his character. His pairing with Thelma Todd is wonderful. They worked off of each other well.
  3. One good use that Lloyd used in this clip at Coney island was the crab in his coat pocket. Of course, from this clip alone we don't know how the crab got into his pocket, but we can just imagine. The crab gag is unique, funny and used successfully throughout the clip. It moves the scene along and gives reason to certain happenings. I agree with Schickel idea that Lloyd is a freer comedian due to the fact that Lloyd seems to ease or fall into his situations where Chaplin and Keaton work into them usually. In this clip, Lloyd contributed to comedy history by his use of his sight gags, i.e. the crab and working with the amusements of that time period.
  4. I can agree with Canby to some respect. There is something missing in visual comedies today. In the silents, it was all physical acting leading up to a gag. Today we get the verbal story, the lead in then if needed there will be a visual or physical gag completing the joke. The audience is told the story instead of living it with the silent comedian. With Chaplin, you live through the gag with him, watching him stealing the buiscuts and the hot dogs for the dog. It's more fun to think our way through a situation than to be told about it. The set in itself shows the outlook of the scene. It shows that the cook isn't very rich himself and is trying to guard his wares only to have them taken by Chaplin. A gag like this contributes to slapstick comedy because it leads up to the chase or the fight after Chaplin has been caught.
  5. Yes, I can agree with Agee and Youngson stating that the silent era was critical in the growth of comedy and slapstick. Slapstick needed to be used for action and to convey comedy on the screen. The use of witty dialogue was not able to be used to any extent so it was much easier to bop someone over the head or fall out of a window that it was to convey a funny joke. This was used to elaborate the use of slapstick from the stage to the moving picture stage and to expand this form of comedy. Gags in silent needed to be visual and had to be used on the screen as visual gags. That was practically the only way to get a gag across then. I don't think that these gags or slapstick has disappeared with the advent of sound but possibly made stronger in some ways. With sound, now you can add a verbal joke along with the gag or slapstick. With sound being used the gags were still used too. Laurel and Hardy used sight gags all the time, where the Three Stooges or Abbott and Costello incorporated verbal jokes in with their gags. Keaton created, used and lent tons of gags throughout his whole life, whether it was sound or silent. I think documentaries are extremely useful and helpful in understanding the process of comedy and such. Youngson's THE GOLDEN AGE OF COMEDY is just one example. It has been used for study of comedy and slapstick for over 50 years and will continue for a long time, I think.
  6. Several things came to mind in this lecture. The personality in a gag goes with the personality of the character. The gags Chaplin executes are done in a melodic, almost dancing performance. W.C. Fields would call Chaplin a ballet dancer. Chaplin's movements were very artistict compared to say, Keaton. Keaton was more calculated and sometimes mechanical and even death defying. Much different in character to Chaplins. Chaplin said that there must be truth in comedy so his gags were honest as well as fun.
  7. I agree with the definitions of slapstick. They all relate to the art form. The origin of slapstick does go back to the actual tool of the slapstick itself. The term slapstick, I feel has been personified by the Three Stooges. I'm not sure anyone can bring up the meaning of slapstick without thinking of the Stooges. That being said it is better that we look deeper and discover what the word means, where it came from and its total definition. I learned the five point formula for slapstick tonight. it makes sense and when you put the definitions to the formula you begin to understand what it is.
  8. Hi, This is the first time I am taking a class like this. I am looking forward to it, being a film history buff and a slapstick fan. Just this first night and the 44 second film, "The Waterer Watered" and reading the essay I have learned some things already. Thank you for this course and can't wait for more.
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