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.
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 Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc
To find out more 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.