Buster Keaton in “The Electric House”

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In October 1922, Buster Keaton released his silent comedy short The Electric House.

Hired accidentally by the dean of a college to wire his house for electricity, Buster (a botanist by training) decides to get more fanciful and fills the house from top to bottom with labor saving devices: a bathtub that conveniently comes to you in your bedroom; a bookcase that hands you your book; a toy train that delivers dinner. These machines will of course all go berzerk. By the end of the story, an escalator has tossed him out of the house into the swimming pool, which in turn empties him out into a drainage ditch many miles away. Keaton broke his ankle during the filming of the moving staircase sequence and had to stop production, causing him to release The High Sign, the first short he had made, but which he had been holding back because he was not pleased with the outcome.

 

To learn more about 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 Mediaalso available from amazon.com etc etc etc

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To learn 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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