Arbuckle Speaks!


By the early 1930s, the storm cloud from Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle’s famous scandal had lifted. Arbuckle was signed to appear in a series of popular sound shorts for Warner Brothers.And these were just released on DVD! There’s only a half dozen of them, but they are quite funny. Most of them are roughly remakes and rehashes of shorts he had done at his own independent studio Comique, now with the added benefit of getting to hear Roscoe talk. And you know what? He talks just like you think he would. Arbuckle’s death by heart attack in 1933 was a true loss for comedy film. While I don’t think he was any major auteur as a director, the things he could have gone on to do as a comedy star could have been quite great. But alas, it wasn’t to be. As with John BelushiJohn Candy and Chris Farley, Heaven appears to want to reclaim our big funny men before their time.

To learn more about Fatty Arbuckle and silent and slapstick comedy don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Mediaalso available from etc etc etc To learn more history about the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.



5 Responses to “Arbuckle Speaks!”

  1. […] and Bob Hope both got their start). Everyone else at Keystone (even stars like Mabel Normand and Fatty Arbuckle) quickly became a supporting player for […]


  2. […] New York was one to which he frequently returned. Poodles made 42 two-reel shorts, many directed by Fatty Arbuckle. He worked in films through the 1950s, mostly in bit parts and specialties, notably with Shirley […]


  3. […] about this part of the west produced a lot of silent comedians: Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle were both born in Kansas. Harry Langdon came from Council Bluffs, Iowa. Born in 1884, he ran away at […]


  4. […] Clark and McCullough, Larry Semon, Poodles Hanneford, Harold Lloyd, Snub Pollard, Our Gang, Fatty Arbuckle, Jimmy Finlayson, Edward Everett Horton, Al St. John, Billy Bevan, several animal actors and many […]


  5. […] and the first in that long line of beloved Hollywood comedy fat men, a lineage that would include Rosco “Fatty” Arbuckle, Oliver Hardy, Jackie Gleason, John Belushi, John Candy and Chris Farley, among many others. Often […]


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