Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate


Today is the birthday of the great actor (comic and otherwise) Jack Lemmon (1925-2001). While Lemmon is associated with many classic comedy performances in many classic comedy films (I was going to list them but it was far too many) I would NOT include among them Blake Edwards’ bloated 1965 snorefest The Great Race. I fully intended to take TNT and a wide range of inventive weapons to this sickly Sacred Cow but I’ll wait til the anniversary of its release date — not Lemmon’s birthday. We choose Professor Fate as our hook today because it comes closest to the silent comedy themes we explore in our new book Chain of Fools, and it actually gets mentioned in the book. And, well, his get-up in the role is pretty cool.







For more on silent and slapstick comedy film history see 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 show biz historyconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.



  1. I must mention that Professor Fate’s car from “The Great Race” is on display at L.A.’s Petersen Automotive Museum, along with cars from “Green Hornet”, “Batman”, “Speed Racer” and many other TV shows and films. Well worth the visit.


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