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Bert Wheeler-Robert Woolsey


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  • 2 years later...

Excerpts from IMdb


Robert Woolsey was signed for Florenz Ziegfeld's "Rio Rita" in 1927, where he teamed up with Bert Wheeler. Both repeated their stage roles in RKO's filmed version of that musical. Due to their success, both were teamed up again for more pictures, a career that kept on until failing health made further work impossible. Although Variety suggested that both should try as singles, the movies they made apart weren't successful. He died on October 31, 1938 of kidney disease.



Trivia Robert Woolsey

Comedy partner of Bert Wheeler.


The great comedy team of Wheeler & Woolsey are little know in the 21st century, despite their great popularity in the 1930s. One of the reasons likely is the fact that their short films were not packaged and sold to television in the 1950s, unlike The Three Stooges and Laurel & Hardy, who then went on to entertain new generations of fans. Bobby Clark wrote much of the dialogue, and it was very risqu? and was considered borderline in the more liberal 1930s. Their shorts were geared towards adults, and even in the 1930s, they were considered vulgar, and thus would have been inappropriate on television in the 1950s as the comedy shorts of the Stooges and Laurel & Hardy were programmed for children.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The comedy style of the great Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey was, no doubt, an acquired taste. But I've acquired it.


I haven't yet been able to see all their films together, but I'm working on it. This year I bought DVDs of two W&Ws, both from 1930: Half Shot at Sunrise and Dixiana. Enjoyed them both, especially the latter, which ends with a reel in two-color Technicolor depicting the gaiety of the New Orleans Mardi Gras. Wheeler and Woolsey had previously appeared in a part-Technicolor musical, Rio Rita (1929).


But my admiration for "the boys" -- as they would be forever known to their fans -- really soared when I saw them in Hips Hips Hooray (1934). In this one, they are teamed as impecunious snake-oil peddlers who can't seem to nail a sale... until perky little Dorothy Lee, who would appear with the boys in most of their films, gets them to hawk flavored lipstick! Imagine the possibilities, especially when aided by Miss Lee, Thelma Todd, and a half-dozen kissable cuties. This enjoyable souffle made it to the nation's screens just a couple of months before the Censorship Code went into effect.


Dan N.



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