Today is the anniversary of the release of the Charlie Chaplin comedy Dough and Dynamite.
In this Keystone short, Charlie and Chester Conklin are rival waiters at a restaurant. The first part of the picture is about their ordinary daily shenanigans. An irate customer protests when Chaplin takes his plate too early and scrapes other stuff on it; Charlie hands him his plate back. Charlie, flirting with a girl, accidentally flings cream puffs in a man’s face. Charlie and Chester collaborate to break a lot of dishes.
Then, the bakers at the establishment, a bunch of scary, “foreign looking” anarchists, go on strike, planting explosive in some dough before they leave. Charlie now drafted into being a baker, with all the requisite flour gags. Then comes the kaboom?
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 Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc
To learn 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.