review of the Laurel and Hardy short film Beau Hunks (1931) starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy
Beau Hunks begins with Oliver Hardy singing “The Ideal of My Dreams“, as Stan Laurel cuts an advertisement for fertilizer out of the newspaper and unintentionally cuts the fabric out of Oliver’s upholstery, exposing a spring, which causes Oliver to do massive damage to his room later. First, however, Oliver is planning on marrying his sweetheart, “Jeanie Weanie”, who’s signed photograph he carries with him. The mail comes, with a letter from Jeanie-Weanie, which Oliver is too upset to read, so Stan reads it to him – where Jeanie-Weanie, who has traveled all around the world, is breaking up with Oliver and never wants to see him again. Broken-hearted, Oliver decides to “go where men go to forget” – the French Foreign Legion. And he takes Stan along with him. (more…)
A Night in Casablanca (1946) starring the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico, Harpo), Sig Ruman
A Night in Casablanca is the last Marx Brothers movie, and I’m happy to say, one of their finest. The Marx Brothers had officially retired by this time. However, they reunited on screen for the financial benefit of their brother Chico. And I’m very glad they did. (more…)
Horse Feathers (1932) starring the Marx Brothers – Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo
First, imagine the Marx Brothers attending college. Now, imagine Groucho as the president of the college, Zeppo as his son, and Harpo and Chico as the newest additions to the college football team. Recruited by mistake, of course. Now, imagine the beautiful Thelma Todd, trying to weasel the team’s football signals from Zeppo and Groucho in her well-known vampish way. And now, imagine the big football game, with the Marx Brothers on the field, pulling out all the stops to defeat the other side. What do you get for all your imaginings? Horse Feathers, of course. (more…)
Pierre Étaix (1928 – 2016) famous French clown and actor
Pierre Étaix was born in 1928 in Roanne, France. He was trained as a designer and introduced to the art of stained glass by Theodore Gerard Hanssen. Etaix basically built his career around the comic. He settled in Paris where he worked as an illustrator while performing in cabarets and music halls, including The Golden Horse, The Three Donkeys, ABC and the Alhambra, Bobino and Olympia, and that circus clown with Nino.
He met Jacques Tati in 1954 and worked as a draftsman and gagman on Tati’s film Mon Oncle, including the creation of the poster, then as assistant director on the film in 1958. He performed with his music-hall number, in 1960, in the sight of Jacques Tati: Feast Day at the Olympia. Pierre Étaix was a continuation of the great masters of slapstick as Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Harry Langdon, Max Linder, Charlie Chaplin, and Laurel and Hardy admires limitless and that he graphically rendered many respects. (more…)
Johnny Patterson (1840 – 1889) The Irish Singing Clown
Early life of Johnny Patterson
Johnny Patterson was a famous Irish clown, known for his original songs, singing style and rapport with his audience. He was born John Francis Patterson in 1840 in Kilbarron near Feakle, County Clare, Ireland. His parents had both died by the time he was three years old. He was raised in Ennis by his uncle Mark, although his three siblings went to two different homes.
Buster Keaton’s Pie Throwing
The art of making and throwing them as told by Buster Keaton.
Ironically, even though most people associate pie throwing with silent film comedies, Buster Keaton never took a pie in the face in any of his silent films – and he only threw a pie once (at Fatty Arbuckle in The Garage) where he missed. Later in his career, however, he did throw pies on television on the Ed Wynn show and had a color pie fight with a young Alice Faye in Hollywood Cavalcade. Quoting Buster from his autobiography, My Wonderful World of Slapstick: (more…)
The International Clown Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to the art of clowning. There are three categories that a clown can be inducted into:
A minimum of 25 years of clown experience is required to be eligible for the Active and Inactive categories. Clowns who had a major impact upon the history of clowning are inducted in the Historical category. Those who have been inducted are:
George Carl, pantomimist, slapstick, silent clown
George Carl (May 7, 1916 – January 1, 2000) was a gifted pantomime slapstick artist and vaudevillian style clown. George Carl was born in Ohio, and started his comedy career traveling with a variety of circuses during his teenage years. In time, Carl would later become internationally famous as a clown and pantomime artist. (more…)
Bob Hamilton entered the clowning work in 1974 after becoming a Shriner. He maintained a strong association with the Shriners, but also became an influential role model in the Clowns of America organization and the Midwest Clown Association. His forte was in the crafting of clever parade props which won him many trophies and awards. Bob was a charter member of the Calumet Clowns and in the Hall of Fame of the Midwest Clown Association. He was a member of Orak Temple Shrine Clown Unit, the International Shrine Clown Association, the Great Lakes Shrine Clown Unit Association and Clowns of America, International. (more…)