Stars of Slapstick #23: Snub Pollard

This is one in a series of posts we are producing in connection with our new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtubeavailable from Bear Manor Media in February 2013.

Snub Pollard (real name Harry Fraser) was born in Australia on this day in 1889. He began performing with an Australian vaudeville troupe when still a teenager. The troupe came to the U.S. in 1910 and promptly fell apart. Snub stayed here and began clowning in silent movies for a succession of companies:  first Essanay, then Mack Sennett, then finally the Hal Roach lot, where his greatest success was as a second banana to Harold Lloyd (in his Lonesome Luke guise), Laurel and Hardy and Andy Clyde, often under the direction of Charley Chase. For a time, he tried his own starring series, but by the 20s, his outlandish look and style were a little passe. In the sound era, he continued to star in comedy shorts, and was Tex Ritter’s sidekick in a number of westerns. From the 40s through the early 60s he has uncredited micro-roles in numerous major Hollywood pictures. He died in 1962.

Now here he is in the 1919 short “Looking for Trouble”, with music by Ben Model:

To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. And don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, to be released by Bear Manor Media in 2013.


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