Bobby Dunn: Disfigured for Your Enjoyment

bobby_dunn___me_and_my_pal

Today is the birthday of Bobby Dunn (Robert V. Dunn, 1890-1937). A Milwaukee native, Dunn started out doing acrobatic high dive stunts at amusement parks and other outdoor shows starting at age nine. The dangerous work ended up knocking out his front teeth and destroying an eye, which had to be replaced with a glass one. Both of these injuries ended up being used for comic effect in his silent comedy days.

In 1914 he started working for Ford Sterling’s independent film studio, and then ended up working for just about all the major comedy houses: Keystone/ Sennett (1915-17, 1919, 1922, 1924-28, 1931-33), L-KO (1917-18), Vitagraph (1918), Fox Sunshine (1918-21), Universal and Century (1923-24), Arrow (1922-24), Hal Roach (late 20s through early 30s), Paramount and Columbia (1930s). Notable outings include a series where he was paired in a comedy team with Slim Summerville by Mack Sennett (1916-1917), a starring series for Arrow (1922-24), and roles in Harold Lloyd’s Speedy (1928), numerous Laurel and Hardy comedies and the all-star Million Dollar Legs (1932).

A gent named Dave Glass of Comedy Capers Inc. has lovingly posted a number of Bobby Dunn’s comedy on Youtube. Here’s one, 1924’s The Dumb Waiter:

To learn more about slapstick history 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 amazon.com etc etc etc

chain%20of%20fools%20cvr%20front%20only-500x500

To find out more 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.

safe_image

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: