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TCM voters; who are your all-time favorite movie comics?


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(*-Denotes A.M.P.A.S. Award) 1s of all, I posted this in general forums, because more seem to log-in here, then the other one's? Even though, this should be more of a poll/favorites,etc. But then, nobody would hardly see it?

I just wanted to know what this tremendous/knowledgable audience & on-liners top 5 all-time Movie Comedians are?

I say the above knowledgable, because most on here, are not just waiting for the newest: Jim Carrey, or my least favorite Martin Lawrence, film will be out!?

My Top 5 all-time Motion Picture Comedians:

1. *CHARLES (spencer) CHAPLIN-(l889-l977)

2. The Marx Brothers:

Groucho Marx-(l890-l977)

Chico Marx-(l886-l961)

Harpo Marx-(l888-l964)

Zeppo Marx-(l90l-l979)

3. W.C. Fields-(l880-l946)-(NOTE For my dough, the greatest comedian ever born in America!)


(l890-l965) (l892-l957)-(NOTE: YUP! "Laurel & Hardy," are actually OSCAR winners? For the superb l932 comedy short: "The Music Box!")

5. The Three Stooges:

Moe Howard-(l897-l975)

Larry Fine-(l902-75)

Curly Howard-(l903-52)

Shemp Howard-(l895-l955)-(NOTE: I know almost about 100 per cent of "Stooge," fans, love Curly Howard the most! But, although I agree he was hilarious. Something about Shemp Howard-(Whom was with them on stage before Curly!?) Well, it's all subjective & Shemp in general always made me laugh more, by a little bit though?)

Joe Besser-(l8907-88)-Least fav. & obnoxious!

& Curly Joe De Rita-(l909-93)

(NOTE: I have over 90 some odd "3 Stooges," short subjects on video. The family feature pix they made in the 60's were more flat & aimed for lil' kids.)

Ironically given TCM has Harold Lloyd-(l893-l97l) as "Star of the Month," an irony of a survey. I've never been a big fan of Lloyd though. I do know that he saved/invested his money so well, compared particularly to the great: Buster Keaton-(l895-l966) sadly! & Harold had one of Hollywoods most famous mansions & It's probably torn-down by now That is Hollywood today!

To you "Abbott & Costello," fans. I thought Bud Abbott-(l895-l974) was the finest straight man EVER! But the duo did steal quite a bit from "The 3 Stooges!"

What are your candidates

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moviejoe, you beat me to it--I was going to say Bob Hope! I just love that he's so quick witted and doesn't rely on "standard" or obvious material. Jonathan Winters is a close second. As far as GENIUSES go, I have to say Charlie Chaplin which may be kind of obvious, but I think like a lot of other things, people who don't REALLY know his work just disregard him as a silent movie "ham". And lastly, I may get a lot of flack for this, but I truly think that Robin Williams is the best comedian of our present time. His brain goes a mile a minute, I'm amazed he can keep up with it.

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I've never been much of a comedy person. I go in for the horror/fantasy, bigger-than-life stuff.

But--I've always loved JOAN DAVIS! Her performance as the fired radio "screamer" in l941's "Hold That Ghost" was priceless. She was always a scream in the other movies I saw her in.

Carole Lombard wasn't really a commedience in "My Man Godfrey" but she was unforgettable as the adorable, warm, scatter-brained heiress.

And shouldn't we consider Cary Grant as at least a "light" commedienne? He was hysterical in "Bringing Up Baby" and "His Girl friday."

Rochester was always fantastic as the comedic touch in numerous 40s movies, especially "Topper Returns."

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Chaplin and Keaton are long-time favorites of mine. They could be both funny and poignant.

Robin Williams can be great when his hyper manners and tendency to get overly mushy are kept in check.

I used to love watching Gene Wilder and Marty Feldman, especially when they were in Mel Brooks movies.

But honestly, I probably admire Erne Kovacs and Jackie Gleason more than the above names, even though they're primarily regarded as TV comics.


Would love to someday discover Fatty Arbuckle (maybe TCM could someday help me in this).

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I would agree with many of the selections thus far. I have just recently found W.C. Fields and love what I have seen. I think Abbott and Costello are too funny and I love Gene Wilder. I would like to throw two names out there one from then, and one from now... Danny Kaye I believe is one of the most hysterical actors ever, his physical comedy is amazing and nobody performs tongue twisters better (see The Court Jester). From now, I think Steve Martin is wonderful. From the craziness of his early roles (The Jerk, The Man with Two Brains) to his more tender roles (Roxanne, Parenthood, Father of the Bride I and II) and many others I think he has become one of the better American actors of this era.

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Off the top of my head it's got to be Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. The pair of bufoons just crack me up.

Also and although she did some drama I get a big kick out of the delightful Marjorie Main in the Ma and Pa Kettle series. There is no one like her.



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"Sherlock Junior" and "Safety Last" starring Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd respectively, are two of the most hilarious works on film. Even those who don't usually enjoy silent films will appreciate these. I also love W.C. Fields, especially in "The Bank Dick" and "It's A Gift" and Laurel and Hardy in "Sons Of The Desert". Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther films and almost everything else. Also Gene Wilder in "Blazing Saddles", "Young Frankenstein", and "Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory".

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Chaplin, Lloyd and Keaton stand alone! There is no one

like them today and never will be again! They are the

supreme comic artists and geniuses of the cinema!

No one else comes even close! Anyone who does not agree, I encourage you to pay close attention over the next four weeks! Starting at 8:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time with the TCM Premier of Lloyd's unforgettable 1925 classic THE FRESHMAN!


My lone regret is that the new restoration of GRANDMAS BOY (instead of FOR HEAVENS SAKE) will not immediately follow. However, with uncut versions of both THE KID BROTHER and SPEEDY this is a pretty strong opening for the Lloyd festival and should more than confirm just how much he rightfully deserves to be held in equal esteem to Chaplin and Keaton. Personally I think GIRL SHY and

SPEEDY alone are as good as any of Keaton's features, and

NEVER WEAKEN (in it's entirety) may be the best comedy short ever made!


There are plenty of tender poetic sequences and genuine heart felt emotion to be found in the films of Harold Lloyd! Not just the hilarious visual humor and

physical comedy. Walter Kerr who dubbed Lloyd as an "Architect of Sympathy" wasn't joking! As many people

who may have thought they knew Lloyd, are bound to soon discover for themselves! As well as the masses still

waiting to be introduced, to his tremendous depth of

talent. Not only as a comedian, but as a film maker

who enjoyed complete creative control over every aspect his films during the prime of his career and closely supervised each stage of production.


Discounting the on screen credits, As William K. Everson said "Lloyd was the Boss and the so called directors in his films seem to have been little more than "incidental he didn't work for them, they worked for him"! This is why I always refer to them as co-directors, since before talkies took over, as long as he was in independent production Lloyd himself, was always the principle director.


Furthermore when Lloyd produced he staged his productions

better than virtually any other silent film director

did during the 1920's! The photography in Lloyd's

independent features is some of the finest, and most

ground breaking, (at times) you are likely to find from

that entire decade.


As for Chaplin many of you my not be aware,and be thrilled to learn the following. This coming July TCM will debut a brand new unedited and freshly re-mastered print of the original 1925 version of THE GOLD RUSH! It may even contain the once lost orchestral score that accompanied it's New York World Premier that year ! I do know that this score was discovered in the Chaplin Vault about 11 years ago, and has been revived at theatrical screenings around the world on a limited basis.


At present, most of the domestic broadcast rights to Keaton's major films are still owned by AMC! I certainly hope this changes soon. Without question, all of the Chaplin, Lloyd, and Keaton features should be found right here, on TCM!
















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Dear Spencer 1964:


The "Documentary" you have reference to is HOLLYWOOD a massive production in at least 13 parts produced by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill for Thames (British) Television in 1979. It is currently in print in VHS, but not DVD. The stunt-man in question, was the great Harvey Parry. Who never made any such claim at anytime, that HE was the figure dangling from the hands of the clock in "SAFETY LAST!", back in 1923. He did however, claim that he had doubled for Lloyd on some extreme wide angle shots on the real buildings. Later Perry wanted it understood that this was in fact, not so! Rather it was in FEET FIRST in 1930, (Lloyd's second talkie) when this actually took place. Likewise though Lloyd was doubled in SAFETY LAST! in the long shots, (and only in the long shots) of the real buildings by Bill Strothers. Who portrayed Harold's pal "Limpy Bill" in the film. (All of this though is fairly common knowledge.)


None the less the majority of the "climb" is still Lloyd's. It was actually preformed on a average of 15 to 20 foot high sets, "facades" constructed on roofs of several different buildings. One for each "higher stage" of the climb. The sets were constructed in fact, only three to four feet or less from the roof edges! Of course many people know about the "moveable platforms" covered with mattresses that were at various times any where from about 10 to 15 feet blow Lloyd and just out of the perspective range of the camera in case there was a slip up!


The Clock sequence is interesting because Lloyd who

repeatedly would re-shoot take after take of the same

scenes, much like Chaplin did, and much to the dismay of than producer Hal Roach (this had a significant bearing on their breakup) actually dislocated his shoulder during one of them! As Al Goulding Jr. described it "Harold stopped filming for about 15 to 20 minutes, just long enough to "pop" it back into place, than went right back to shooting that same sequence"! Such was Lloyd's habitual quest for perfection!


By the way sir, Harold actually lost TWO fingers, both the THUMB and FOREFINGER on his right hand, during that exploding "PROP BOMB" incident in 1919! Lloyd actually preformed the over whelming majority of his own stunts throughout the remainder of his career. However, due to this disability and the "insurance company's" flatly refusing to cover some "ideas" at times, he simply wasn't able to preform them all.


Even Keaton in COLLEGE used a "double" for the scene where he supposedly "pole vaults" through a second story window! Not enough "height" you see!

















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Well, first I'd have to say that *WOODY ALLEN is my favorite. His jokes never fail to crack me up, no matter how often I hear them. Second, I will have to say *CHARLIE CHAPLIN, a pure cinematic genius. Third would have to be The Marx Brothers. They have an amazing flair for anarchy and hilarity and play off each other's trademarks perfectly. Fourth is a tie between *ALEC GUINNESS and Peter Sellers in their great British comedies. Their abilties to morph into whatever role they play are fantastic. Fifth is *JACK LEMMON and *WALTER MATTHAU as comedy pair in such great movies as The Fortune Cookie and The Odd Couple. Honorable mention goes to the following: Buster Keaton, Jack Benny, Sig Ruman, Monty Python, *MEL BROOKS, Gene Wilder, Zero Mostel, Cary Grant, and Harold Lloyd.

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I love the Woodman! In "Hannah And Her Sisters" he has some great lines, especially the one about Nietzche and the ice capades. "Radio Days" is greatly underappreciated and one of my favourite films. I also like the swing/jazz music he puts in many of his movies.

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I forgot about Woody Allen and the amazing Peter Sellers. I agree with you Ned that "Radio Days" is a great film, and not mentioned very often. I also love his earlier work like "Take the Money and Run," "Bananas," and "Sleeper." And "Manhattan Murder Mystery," was good - very reminiscent of the "Thin Man" movies. I also like the fact that he is very independent. I don't think he plays the Hollywood game. He always seems to work with the same people, and he does things his way. He is a film auteur (I think that's how you spell it), the same way Hitchcock, Welles, and others were.

And Peter Sellers was just a genius. He could adapt to a character so brilliantly. The Pink Panther films alone stand out as comedy masterpieces. He was also great in "The Party," "The Bobo," and although not comedic, who could forget his amazing performance in "Being There."

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Great topic--I'm sorry I'm getting in on this one so late. Here are my thoughts after reading the other posts:


1)My personal favorites include Cary Grant, W.C. Fields, and Harold Lloyd.


2)I wonder why so few women were given "comedian" type roles? People have mentioned Joan Davis, Marjorie Main (I love her!), and Mae West already, but classic era Hollywood had other women who showed remarkable comedic timing and would have made great comedians had they been given, or allowed to pursue "funny" character roles. I've always thought that Jean Harlow might have developed into one, had she lived longer and completely outgrown the "platinum blonde" label. She shows a wonderful light touch to funny scenes in movies like RED HEADED WOMAN, RED DUST, SARATOGA AND LIBELED LADY. Let's not forget Patsy Kelly either--she was no slouch. Wasn't she suppose to be teamed with Thelma Todd at Roach Studios as a comedy team in the early 30's?


3)RADIO DAYS--it is a wonderful film, almost completely forgotten, but worthy of praise. It is probably my favorite Allen film. I love the way he develops the characters, and the way we almost feel a part of the family. I want to go pull out my video and watch it right now.

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To: gagman66 "Cool name," by the way! Again, you are 100 per cent correct! About that British mini-series/docu. I remember 1st seeing that back around l981. & I was just falling in love with cinema,etc. & I was only 16 to 17 at the time. Again, thank u! I got up early this evening/morning & Harold Lloyd was on, as a matter of fact! Those guys were astonishing athletes!

& on TCM's home page today, they have a poll of the top 4 silent clowns. & sadly, they have the really mostly forgotten: Harry Langdon-(l884-l944) His career was completely dead after sound arrived-sad story! & to the person whom voted for: *"THE WOODMAN" WOODY ALLEN, he is my personal fav. "Alive!" In our pathetic era of comedy?

You probably know he broke: *BILLY WILDER & his ACADEMY Record (l3 nominations) for BEST SCREENPLAY as well. Correction: *WOODY to date earned (l3) & *WILDER had: (12)overall noms. for writing. Thank You for replies

I cover the OSCAR-sites, but those on-line, cannot hold a candle to the film-buffs here!

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(NOTE: I'm using a method in which an e-mail pen pal on here assisted me with & to alixl929 hope it's ok, I mentioned that it was you? & again I thank you! All the problem is, is either posting, well, that is easier! But in ever replying to anyone,etc. That's virtually impossible?) This is to what is, in my view, a superb & 4-star handle: orson4ever! About the stunningly sad true-life: Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle-(l887-l933) You may just need to post his name in the SEARCH section of TCM? & I don't think he's as yet been: "Star of the Month?" Maybe, not sure on that. But also, pretty-much any info, stats,/documentaries & even books on: Buster Keaton most certainly would have "links," to & about Arbuckle! They were great pals, to his end anyway.

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my favorites (in no particular order)

Jerry Lewis/Dean Martin (Dino was a pretty good straight man too)

Red Skelton (although his TV show was better than most movies)


Buster Keaton

Lucy (again TV show better) and M. Main deserve mention for the ladies, I agree Ma/Pa Kettle are classic.


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To alix1929, thanks again for the tip! & just noticed Thelma Todd-(l906-35) on the list. She really never really hit it big like Harlow however! Obviously, main reason was her alledged suicide in her garage-(NOTE: Yet another famous Tinsel-Town location demolished? Her huge restaurant! Only a few steps are left? Actually her huge place was up the coast a bit. But it's always been MORE then rumored Lucky Luciano, whom was seein' her, wanted to have gambling added to her place. & she didn't want any part of the deal. So, they found her in her car-dead from carbon-monoxide poisoning??? & she, unlike a Marilyn, really never had any other problems, that would lead to such a suicide either? But she's most famous for 2 Marx Bros. comedies "Monkey Business" (l93l) & "Horse Feathers" '32! By the way, that was another terrific screwball comedy, same title "Monkey B." for Cary Grant & *GINGER ROGERS in l952! & ironically, as I just mentioned: Marilyn Monroe was in the latter.> Howard Hawks could do any film genre! I mostly wanted to see if any-viewers have seen W.C. Fields superb & final starring

role: l94l's "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break" Almost as good as "It's a Gift?" & arguably better than: "Bank Dick" He did his first sound-films at Paramount. Then suffered a breakdown/the DT's actually! Went to the hospital & all. But came out & changed managers & studios also, joining Universal for the latter pt. of his life/career! & If anyone likes "The Great Man!" He was TCM's "Star of Month." I forget the month? You can find it in the SEARCH dept.? But l932's short "The Dentist," was almost banned by most, because of how risque it got!

Ironically his Star on Walk-of-Fame, is in front of an exotic-dancer aka: strippers' club! He is/was the king of subtle comedy though. & alix, "Radio Days," I agree, terrific typical *"WOODMAN" stuff! But it's not really forgotton. It's (1) of his now record: (l3 nominations) for BEST SCREENPLAY! Did ya' ever see: '72's "Play It Again, Sam?"

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Spencer, I'm glad you're able to post now!


I've not seen many of Thelma Todd's films. I know she worked for Roach in the early 1930's, but did she do films for other studios? Probably, because I know studios loaned stars out regularly. She was very beautiful, and certainly met an untimely end. The book by Andy Edmonds, Hot Toddy, is good, and full of interesting information about her life. It might be fun to rediscover this actress through a "Star of the Month," or a birthday salute.

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  • 2 weeks later...

To gagman66 It's been awhile since I started this topic. But remembered how you are such a Harold Lloyd buff & all. Don't know whereabouts you live? But if & when you are ever in Hollywood area-(given, I think his mansion "amazingly," for tinsel-town in this era?) I remember seeing some program where someone else bought-it! They usually tear-down mostly everything as I have noted previously!!! I have a book & an entire page is devoted to just that. I still am waiting to hear if W. Randolph Hearst' mansion up the coast is standing? "San Simeon?" If anyone knows, please let me know. But to gagman66 again, Lloyd is interred in that story I wrote: "Where the Golden Age GIANTS Rest" in Glendale. He's in "Great Maus." at kinda' the entrance to the 320 acres. Blacks were not permitited inside/internment. But way at veeery-top "Freedom Maus." they were. Thank You

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charlie chaplin- i've always liked him though i haven't seen many of his films.

bob hope - he has that dry sense of humor that i love.

lucille ball - i love her show. clean humor at it's best.

the three stooges

cary grant

jack lemmon and walter matthau - i grew up watching their films. classic.

jean harlow - great sarcastic humor.

william powell and myrna loy - great chemisty, made some of my favorite movies together.


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  • 1 year later...

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