Stars of Slapstick #129: Slim Summerville


 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 etc etc etc


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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