Charlie Chaplin in “Laughing Gas”


Today is the anniversary of the release date of the Charlie Chaplin comedy Laughing Gas. 

Chaplin directed this film all on his own; from this point on he would direct every one of his pictures. In this Keystone short, he plays a dentist’s assistant, and the entire film is essentially a riff on a succession of dentist gags which have long since become commonplace, but were all new when Chaplin employed them. A mallet as anaesthesia? Check. Going to great lengths to pull a tooth? Check. Inappropriate conduct with a young lady while she is unconscious? Double check. Lots of familiar faces in the cast: Mack Swain, Slim Summerville, Alice Howell. And Fritz Schade plays “Dr. Pain”, the dentist whose position Charlie will usurp.

For more on silent and slapstick comedy, including Charlie Chaplin classics like “Laughing Gas” don’t miss my book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.