Forgotten Clowns of Silent Comedy
Sunday, April 11 at The Revue: Six unforgettable funnymen prove that laughter is timeless
by Chris Seguin
Remember these names: Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell, Jim Carrey. I can guarantee your great-grandchildren will have no idea who they are.
Fact is, 90% off all entertainers, no matter how popular in their day, will be replaced over time in the in the pop culture collective consciousness. (Ask a typical 20-year old about Jerry Lewis.) So while the names Larry Semon, Charley Chase and Lloyd Hamilton draw blank stares today, don’t for a minute think that they deserve to be forgotten. There’s a reason they were every bit as popular, in their day, as Rogen, Ferrell or Carrey.
On Sunday, April 11 at 4 p.m., you'll have the opportunity to see six of silent comedy’s most unjustly forgotten clowns, in their prime and in sparkling, digitally restored prints that will forever put to rest the idea that silent movies are herky-jerky, primitive eyesores.
Of these forgotten clowns, two you might recall are Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. But here you won’t see them as the familiar bowler-hatted, fat and skinny pair. Each gets a solo turn: Laurel as a hyperactive book salesman, and Hardy as a moustachioed villain in support of Larry Semon – a slapstick maniac whose sight gags were so spectacular he literally went bankrupt trying to outdo every other comic competitor on the screen. (You’ll see his extravagance in full force in The Show.)
The name “Fatty” Arbuckle might ring a bell – but for all the wrong reasons. The innocent victim of Hollywood’s first-ever sex scandal was ruined in his prime. But forget about that: instead, revel in Love, a perfectly charming example why Roscoe (his real name) was Chaplin’s chief rival.
Once seen, these comic masters won’t soon be forgotten. And who knows? Someday, you may be telling your great grandchildren about Snub Pollard.
This show wouldn't be possible without the generosity of David Kalat (www.alldayentertainment.com) and Paul Gierucki.