Stars of Slapstick #129: Slim Summerville

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 Today is the birthday of screen comedian and actor George “Slim” Summerville (1892-1946). A tall, lanky scarecrow of a character, Summerville was originally from New Mexico and raised in Oklahoma. He’d been a jack-of-all-trades, a day laborer and amateur actor when Edgar Kennedy discovered him and brought him to Keystone. His lack of clowning experience was more than compensated for by his pipe-cleaner-like extremities, tailor made for getting tied in knots. Efforts to make him part of a starring team at Keystone would sputter. For a number of years he became a successful comedy director at Fox. Then his career as a character actor resumed with a vengeance in the late 1920s and kept him in demand until his early death in 1946 (often as a sidekick in westerns).

Here he is in 1915 in Their Social Splash:

To find out more about silent and slapstick comedy, please check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Mediaalso available from amazon.com etc etc etc

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To find out about  the history of vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

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