Today is the birthday of Alan Carney (David Boughal, 1909-1973).Carney worked in vaudeville for years as a dialect comedian before being signed by RKO in 1943, where his first picture was Gildersleeve’s Bad Day with Harold Peary, followed by Mexican Spitfire’s Blessed Event with Lupe Velez. Then the studio teamed him up with Wally Brown, as RKO’s answer to Abbott and Costello. The team appeared in a few features together as Brown and Carney, starting with Adventures of a Rookie (1943) and ending with Zombies on Broadway (1945), a follow-up to Val Lewton’s I Walked with a Zombie, co-starring Bela Lugosi. He continued to play bit parts for the remainder of his career, notably in several Disney comedies, as well as the 1963 classic It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
For more on comedy film history don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc
For more on 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.