The Silent Clowns, by Walter Kerr
Product description of The Silent Clowns
This book is both a scholarly study of silent comedy movies, and an illustrated guide to the major comedians for the general reader. It covers such characters as Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Laurel and Hardy. The author is one of America’s foremost film and theatre critics. He treats the subject of film comedians with much affection, and includes many anecdotes and stories. He is also a lucid theorist, attempting to explain how and why we laugh. (more…)
Police (1916) starring Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance
Police is an Essanay silent comedy starring Charlie Chaplin, as Charlie – convict 999. The film begins with him being released from prison and given $5.00 (a large sum at the time). No sooner is he out, however, then a bogus parson tries to convince him to “go straight”. Reading Bible passages brings him to the point of tears. While Charlie wipes his tears on the man’s long beard, the bogus parson picks his pocket of the money. (more…)
An Eastern Westerner (1920) starring Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis
Synopsis of An Eastern Westerner
In the silent short film An Eastern Westerner, the father of a spoiled young man ships him out West from New York to his uncle’s ranch. The father hopes that the young man will toughen up and learn responsibility. Once there, he squares off against a town bully and falls for a local belle. (more…)
Stewardship – Giving – a clown skit for 4 silent clowns, written by John Gravley
MAIN IDEA: show that God does not want part of our possessions but wants all of who we are.
HELPERS: four clowns and one non-clown to be the preacher.
SETTING: this takes place during a worship service. The “preacher” shares some words on giving/stewardship and then the clowns act out the “offering.”
PROPS: a large cutout of a bank note (dollar bill), a ruler, pencil, scissors, a large paper clock that says “My Time” (see picture above), a day planner, a large paper heart and a large offering bag. (more…)
7 Gold Coins – a parable of greed, inspired by a story about Emmett Kelly
Requires 2 clowns, or 1 clown & helper (preferably a child or young person). It can be presented either silently or verbally.
Clown 1 (or ‘normal’ person, even the pastor) is seated, holding a small plateful of gold coins (actually chocolate wrapped in gold foil – other things could be substituted, of course). (more…)
Clown Ministry Skits for All Seasons, by Floyd Shaffer
Mr. Shaffer takes the reader through the liturgical calendar year and gives some good ideas for holiday-related clowning. I, personally, find the skits presented limited since they are all silent, as Mr. Shaffer does all of his clown ministry. But they will give you ideas on what you or your clown troupe can do.
I rate it 3 clowns out of 5.
Turning the Other Cheek – a silent skit for a troupe of clowns
From an idea in Ministry of Clowning compiled by Everett Robertson. By the Beauregard Parish clowns.
Play is silent except for the reader and for the audience’s last reaction and the narrator’s reading. Could use background noises when stick hits and when tramp sits on glasses. Using background music could be effective. (more…)