Harold Lloyd in “Why Worry?”

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September 2, 1923 as the date of the US premiere of the Harold Lloyd comedy feature Why Worry?, directed by Sam Taylor.

I often ask myself the question, “Why Called This?” But no matter. We don’t know what “Duck Soup” means either.

In Why Worry? Harold plays a rich young hypochondriac; the love interest is his commonsense nurse (Jobyna Ralston). He travels to a South American country for his health, only to be swept up in the revolution taking place. In a twist on Androcles and the Lion, he befriends a simple giant (John Aasen) who shares his prison cell by pulling a bad tooth, and thenceforth we have a buddy picture.

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But Collosso (the giant) doesn’t do all the fighting . Harold’s infirmity is all in his head. As in Grandma’s Boy, when properly motivated, he’s a tiger. At the climax he rescues the girl from the villain and defeats the revolution.

Here’s a great clip:

To learn more about silent and slapstick comedy 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

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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.

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