This is my own post for the Ninth Buster Keaton Blogathon. Please enjoy, and don’t forget to check out all the other wonderful posts, too!
If there was an official “gentle giant” of silent comedy, in my book it would have to be “Big” Joe Roberts, of Buster Keaton film fame. The jowly, 6-foot-3-inches performer played a number of intimidating “heavies”–and at least one bashful farm hand–in nearly twenty of the famed (and more diminutive) comedian’s films.
But Buster and Big Joe weren’t just coworkers but long-time pals, vaudeville veterans who spent their summers in the same quiet neighborhood of Muskegon, Michigan and shared countless memories of lakeside fun and hijinks. In fact, Big Joe’s house was just down the hill from the Keaton family.Continue reading