Goodness, is it really July already? Why does the lovely month of June always fly by like it was shot out of a cannon?! Anyways, let’s kick of July with this amusing reminisce from the great Stan Laurel, recalling a time back in the early 1910s when his music hall troupe “Fred Karno’s Army” toured the U.S. What other famed comedian was also in that exact same troupe? Charlie Chaplin!
This essay is from a 1982 book called The Legend of Charlie Chaplin, compiled by Peter Haines, which I used for a post once before. This is a collection of essays and interviews by Chaplin’s friends, fellow actors, and other contemporaries, reprinted from hard-to-find publications that ranged from the 1910s-1970s. If you love Charlie, it’s well worth seeking out. Parts of this essay are probably familiar, being pretty widely quoted, but there’s other parts that might be new to you–especially a funny story at the end that sounds like something from a slightly lowbrow 1910s comedy!
So about two weeks ago I was on my post-San Francisco, solitary trip to a magical realm I’d always been dying to visit: Hollywood! After years of dreaming of going and wondering when that would happen, I decided: hey, it was only a short flight from Frisco, why the heck not?!
In my globetrotting experience (remind me to tell you about Liechtenstein), that’s really all it takes–deciding “yes, I will go.” Because the second you say “ooohhh, I don’t think I can,” well…you won’t. But enough soapboxing–here’s what I did and what I saw during my very first Hollywoodland experience! (Oh how those excited stomach flutters are starting up again!!) Continue reading →
Back in the old days, there were some actors who weren’t exactly leading men or leading ladies and never made it to the threshold of major stardom. But they made their mark on Hollywood–and pop culture–all the same.
These were the character actors, people who were so good at playing certain “types” that they made careers out of it. Cartoon-ish types in particular were staples of early Hollywood comedy, where anything and everything was up for laughs. There were country bumpkins, old maids, bumbling fat men, Irish policemen, female impersonators, “Dutch” or German comics, fearsome matrons, French boulevardiers–and, of course, funny drunks.
The funniest drunk of them all? I think it’s no contest–Arthur Housman