Fatty’s Magic Pants
Today marks the anniversary of the release date of the Keystone comedy Fatty’s Magic Pants a.k.a Fatty’s Suitless Day, starring Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle. The film is essentially a remake of the earlier Mack Sennett Biograph comedy The Tragedy of a Dress Suit.
The plot: Fatty reads about a big fancy dress ball. He wants to go with his girl (Minta Durfee) but has no formal attire. His rival Charley Chase does though. Fatty steals the other guy’s clothes off the line (what’d he put them on the line for? Including his top hat!) Fatty looks ridiculous in the too-small clothes, but the girl goes with him anyway. He does a crazy dance at the party. Then Chase shows up and pulls the threads out of his clothes. Soon Fatty is running around naked. A guy chases him out of the party by firing a gun. Then a cop arrests him and puts him in a barrel. Slim Summerville and Al St. John round out the already round cast.
For more on silent and slapstick comedy please see 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 show business past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.