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Truly Annoying Comic Relief


lydecker
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You know who these people are.  There you are, watching a perfectly fine film (more often than not it is not even a comedy) when, all of a sudden the "comic relief" bursts in for God knows what reason.  The one who makes me cringe the most is Hugh Herbert.  I don't find him even remotely funny, just annoying.  Andy Devine is up there, too.

 

 

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You know who these people are.  There you are, watching a perfectly fine film (more often than not it is not even a comedy) when, all of a sudden the "comic relief" bursts in for God knows what reason.  The one who makes me cringe the most is Hugh Herbert.  I don't find him even remotely funny, just annoying.  Andy Devine is up there, too.

Certain comic actors are more dated than others. Hugh Herbert may be the most dated of all.

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Certain comic actors are more dated than others. Hugh Herbert may be the most dated of all.

 

It's funny you said Hugh Herbert, because he was the first one that came into my mind.

 

I agree with the other poster's comment that Andy Devine (in some movies, not all) is a bit over-the-top.

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It's funny you said Hugh Herbert, because he was the first one that came into my mind. 

 

I agree with the other poster's comment that Andy Devine (in some movies, not all) is a bit over-the-top.

Certain specific performances stand out as dated. For example, James Gleason in MEET JOHN DOE. Virtually every one of his lines is a dated expression.

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Yeah lydecker ol' boy, I'll go along with ya on Hugh Herbert here. Another comic relief character actor from that same era I can only take in small doses is Victor Moore.

 

(...and yeah, even though I was always a big fan of Tex Avery's Droopy Dog cartoons...go figure, huh?!) ;)

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Certain specific performances stand out as dated. For example, James Gleason in MEET JOHN DOE. Virtually every one of his lines is a dated expression.

James Gleason is one of my favourite character actors, his performance in Meet John Doe a small jewel. Gleason could make a crusty character still likeable. He was equally effective as both a comic and dramatic performer, but I suspect he will largely be remembered because of the humour that he could bring to a scene.

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James Gleason is one of my favourite character actors, his performance in Meet John Doe a small jewel. Gleason could make a crusty character still likeable. He was equally effective as both a comic and dramatic performer, but I suspect he will largely be remembered because of the humour that he could bring to a scene.

 

I agree with you.   As for his expressions;  well I would say they are timeless expressions but I guess to others that means dated.

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We should keep in mind that some of what we may find annoying in 2015 was very endearing to audiences of the 30s and 40s. Plus, a lot of that humor came from Vaudeville and radio.

 

I was watching an Andrews Sisters movie recently, and there was a comic subplot with Shemp Howard and Mary Wickes-- and they ran off with the movie, they were so brilliant.

 

I am also a huge fan of Iris Adrian. She enlivens any movie she's in.

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Yeah lydecker ol' boy, I'll go along with ya on Hugh Herbert here. Another comic relief character actor from that same era I can only take in small doses is Victor Moore.

 

(...and yeah, even though I was always a big fan of Tex Avery's Droopy Dog cartoons...go figure, huh?!) ;)

In MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW, Moore's performance was far from comic relief. It was heart-rending.

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In MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW, Moore's performance was far from comic relief. It was heart-rending.

Yes, that was one of Moore's rare dramatic turns. He was excellent (and TCM should air this gem again). In fact, when we talk about Paramount and Universal films largely missing from Essentials, MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW would be a perfect candidate.

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Judy Canova gets on my nerves big time--not at all funny.

I love Judy Canova. I agree that her comedy style is very broad (and probably an acquired taste for some), but I find her vastly entertaining. She's also a wonderful singer.

 

You can find her on Amazon Prime in SIS HOPKINS, a Republic offering that pairs her with Susan Hayward of all people!

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Yes, that was one of Moore's rare dramatic turns. He was excellent (and TCM should air this gem again). In fact, when we talk about Paramount and Universal films largely missing from Essentials, MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW would be a perfect candidate.

Moore was a lot bigger on Broadway than he was in films. He played the lead in many well-known stage hits.

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James Gleason is one of my favourite character actors, his performance in Meet John Doe a small jewel. Gleason could make a crusty character still likeable. He was equally effective as both a comic and dramatic performer, but I suspect he will largely be remembered because of the humour that he could bring to a scene.

didn't he play 'bomber' in I am a fugitive from a chain gang?

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Yeah lydecker ol' boy, I'll go along with ya on Hugh Herbert here. Another comic relief character actor from that same era I can only take in small doses is Victor Moore.

 

(...and yeah, even though I was always a big fan of Tex Avery's Droopy Dog cartoons...go figure, huh?!) ;)

I like daws butler's wolf character especially in 'billy boy'. :D

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James Gleason is one of my favourite character actors, his performance in Meet John Doe a small jewel. Gleason could make a crusty character still likeable. He was equally effective as both a comic and dramatic performer, but I suspect he will largely be remembered because of the humour that he could bring to a scene.

It may be a "small jewel", but do you recall some of his expressions? I believe he used similar dated expressions in HERE COMES MR. JORDAN. It almost seems as if his dialog is written by someone other than the screenwriter who writes the dialog for the other actors.

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It may be a "small jewel", but do you recall some of his expressions? I believe he used similar dated expressions in HERE COMES MR. JORDAN. It almost seems as if his dialog is written by someone other than the screenwriter who writes the dialog for the other actors.

I must like "dated expressions" because Gleason's performance is one of my favourites in Here Comes Comes Mr. Jordan, as well as Meet John Doe. A film was fortunate, indeed, if it had Jimmy Gleason in its cast.

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You know who these people are.  There you are, watching a perfectly fine film (more often than not it is not even a comedy) when, all of a sudden the "comic relief" bursts in for God knows what reason. 

 

The worst example of this is MURDER IN THE ZOO (1933) with Lionel Atwill. This is a frightening horror film. We see a guy feed his wife to a bunch of hungry alligators.

 

Then from out of nowhere, Charlie Ruggles comes in and starts making jokes. It ruins the effect of the "horror" in this horror film.

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Judy Canova clip

Thanks Fred for sharing that. I wish more of her films were available. In SIS HOPKINS, which I mentioned earlier, she truly demonstrates her range. They have her do broad comedy and some serious tender moments. And musically, she has a hillbilly/country song (where she yodels); a patriotic number on a train; a burlesque tune; and two opera solos. She's the real deal.

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Thanks Fred for sharing that. I wish more of her films were available. In SIS HOPKINS, which I mentioned earlier, she truly demonstrates her range. They have her do broad comedy and some serious tender moments. And musically, she has a hillbilly/country song (where she yodels); a patriotic number on a train; a burlesque tune; and two opera solos. She's the real deal.

 

I saw most of her films in theaters when I was a kid. She was sort of a hillbilly comedian who we southern crackers loved.

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