The Fatal Mallet
Today is the anniversary of the release date of the Keystone short The Fatal Mallet.
In this outdoor comedy, no less than three self-styled suitors vie for Mabel Normand’s attentions: Mack Sennett, Charlie Chaplin, and Mack Swain. To get each other out of the way, they throw bricks at one another, hit each other with the titular mallet, and lock one another in a nearby barn. Then a fourth nuisance steps in, a sexually advanced youngster played by Gordon Griffith. In the end, the requisite dunkings in the duck pond.
For more on comedy film history please check out 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 etcTo find out 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.