2020 marks 100 years since Buster Keaton hung out his own shingle as an independent comedy auteur. The first fruits of his efforts didn’t make it into cinemas until late summer, but Keaton was already laying the groundwork by this point in the year, taking over the company Comique, that had previously been his mentor Fatty Arbuckle’s. So we’ll mark this occasion, along with another, at 4:30pm on February 29. The other thing I’m celebrating is the 12th birthday of Travalanche — or the 3rd, rather, since Travalanche is a leap year baby. We last observed it with a variety show at the Slipper Room in 2016.
This year, I am thrilled to announce that I’ll be joined by Slate.com’s Film Critic DANA STEVENS whose new book on Buster is due out next year. We’ll be screening 3 early Keaton shorts: The Boat, The Playhouse and The Paleface, talking about the films and Keaton’s place in comedy history, and signing/selling copies of my book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube. If you haven’t yet acquired my follow up book to No Applause, now’s your chance! It’s every bit as good, I feel, and perhaps a bit better.
It’s all going to be at one of my favorite cozy little nooks, The Way Station, a Dr. Who themed nerd bar at 683 Washington Ave in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. The event is free. More details to follow as they emerge, but we really hope you’ll come hang out, enjoy these hilarious, clever films, and celebrate with us! Admission is free, but the drinks and books aren’t!