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Fan Panel #1 - Mapping the Action and Beyond Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd


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As one of the panelists for Fan Panel #1, I want to thank Dr. Edwards again, and say what a great time I had talking with him and Patte.  Patte's segment gave me a great perspective on looking at the circular way that films used slapstick gags to move the narrative forward, so it's not just a sequence of comedy bits.  For my segment, I could've gone on and on about ones that we didn't have time to mention, like Ben Turpin, Billy Bevan, Marion Davies, and so many more.

 

The silent film blog I mentioned at the end is http://silentology.wordpress.com.  Please check it out.

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I want to start off my saying I really enjoyed the format of the panel, the presentations and interactions. It takes our collaborations one step forward and was so relevant. I really learned a lot in a short period of time and wish to thank Patte and Jason for their excellent presentations and Dr. Edward's for keeping his teaching methods fresh and interesting.

 

I too am a great admirer of lesser known comedians/actors and also character actors but of the later cinematic eras. One of my favorites is Edna May Oliver. An actress of stage and screen who starred most often in comedies. Her famous line when asked why she starred in so many comedies was, "With a horse's face, what more can I play?" even though she was also in many dramas and period pieces. So I especially enjoyed Jason's panel on forgotten silent era comedians. I too love Wheeler and Woolsey but am unfamiliar with the others other than John Bunny who as a Dicken's fan I've seen in, The Pickwick Papers. I will definitely check out the link and the work of these now virtually unknown comics.

 

It just goes back to prove what Dr. Edward's said, popularity and stage or vaudeville success didn't necessarily guarantee a transfer of popularity and success to the silver screen.

 

I also enjoyed all Patte's input. Her panel broke down the often chaotic action of slapstick into distinct and digestible chunks of gags and action. I think that in answer to the question of purposeful repetition I think it depends on the genius behind the gag. With Laurel and Hardy, Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Fields and a few others, yes. With others it's probably more a lucky lark. I also appreciated her depth of knowledge.

 

A great panel! I'm excited for the next one. Thanks again.

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Just finished watching the first Fan Panel.  Thanks to the presenters for your insights on comedic mapping as well as forgotten stars.

 

Was struck as soon as the picture of Harry Langdon hit the screen of a later slapstick performer.  Here are the side by side pictures. Wondering if Paul Reubens sought to mimic the look of Langdon.

 

Harry Langdon http://cinewiki.wikispaces.com/file/view/harry_langdon.jpg/171641923/harry_langdon.jpg

 

 

 

 

Pee Wee Herman  sig-4500564.NEOlzEAqZyS9ST_1_b.jpg

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Thanks, CynthiaV!  I haven't seen any Edna May Oliver films that I can think of, but I recently started reading the Hildegarde Withers mysteries, and really want to see her rendition of the character.  Not to mention they also star James Gleason, who I also love!

 

I too am a great admirer of lesser known comedians/actors and also character actors but of the later cinematic eras. One of my favorites is Edna May Oliver. An actress of stage and screen who starred most often in comedies. Her famous line when asked why she starred in so many comedies was, "With a horse's face, what more can I play?" even though she was also in many dramas and period pieces. So I especially enjoyed Jason's panel on forgotten silent era comedians. I too love Wheeler and Woolsey but am unfamiliar with the others other than John Bunny who as a Dicken's fan I've seen in, The Pickwick Papers. I will definitely check out the link and the work of these now virtually unknown comics.
 

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Thanks, CynthiaV!  I haven't seen any Edna May Oliver films that I can think of, but I recently started reading the Hildegarde Withers mysteries, and really want to see her rendition of the character.  Not to mention they also star James Gleason, who I also love!

I love Edna May Oliver! My favorite is chasing the donkeys off her land in David Copperfield.

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Thoroughly enjoyed our Fan Panel #1.  A couple of comments.  Seeing the photo of Harry Langdon reminds me of Pee Wee Herman.  Really a significant likeness from the photo.

 

During Robert's presentation, Patte commented on Larry Semon's film, Wizard of Oz, and indicated that it contained "completely unacceptable racist type" comedy.  Sure, in today's world and society, that material would be unacceptable, but I believe that such material must be viewed and judged in the light of the the times of the past.  It was what it was, provides insight in to how our world and society was structured years ago, and should not be buried, condemned, or apologized for.  It is a shame that minstrel has now been deemed so politically incorrect, that it is shunned completely as an significant historical art form worthy of study, discussion and performance.  We cannot change the past, but can certainly learn from it, but only if we know what it was.  Younger folks today would not even know what it was.

 

Thanks Professor for this new course.  I am enjoying it.

 

John  T. Wilkinson III

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Exactly!

 

We have to suspend our disbelief and our modern values, and imagine ourselves in the time and place that the films were made. We can (and should) note that some content is unacceptable today, but we mustn't censor it and pretend it never happened. Whoopi Goldberg says this in her intros to some DVD sets of classic Warner Brothers cartoons.

 

In the "Watching Comedy's Golden Age" thread, Chaz45342 posted:

 

I watched "Salute to Slapstick" last night and enjoyed watching some of the comedy bits, especially Laurel and Hardy trying to escape from jail by imitating painters and the traffic jam from "Two Tars".

But here are some of the other classic comedy routines featured on this show...

A man is blindfolded and is tricked into jumping headfirst into a swimming pool with no water

A dog is sucked into a vacuum cleaner, and although eventually is retrieved has been clean shaved

A man contemplates suicide by drinking a poisonous liquid

A man is left tied to a pole in a flooded room with rising water and eventually is completely submerged under water

A lady with a baby is convinced to enter a burning building.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't necessarily find anything particularly offensive to me. But on the other hand, I didn't find any of those skits particularly funny either. They claim this is the Golden Age of Comedy, and that is the best we have to offer from this era?

What do you think?

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I haven’t finished Club Slapstick Fan Panel #1 yet, but I will. It’s jam-packed with fun information and I want to thank all three participants, Dr. Rich Edwards, Jason, and Patte, for putting it together.

 

Applause, applause, applause!

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The fan panel is great. I too am a fan of wheeler and Woosley. Glad they brought that put as well as Thelma Todd. I hope they show Thelma Todd patsy Kelly and Thelma Todd Zasu. Pitts shorts. They were female slapstick comedians and there is one short. Can't remember the name but Kelly and Todd were roommates and that is also slap stick at its finest

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