Bury the Hatchet, Stooges style slapstick

I came across this odd black and white short on youtube. It is directed by Jules White, one of the Three Stooges directors.

From the youtube description:

Columbia Pictures rarity with Wally Vernon and Eddie Quillan in a fairly violent two-reel comedy from Jules White (which is a remake of a remake of a earlier Columbia short called BURY THE HATCHET with Monty Collins and Tom Kennedy). Film print is a tad on the dark side…always looking for an upgrade!

Reviving acts

Pat Cashin posted this video on his clownally blog.

A short time later, I found this video:

Obviously there is a significant lapse of time between these two, almost identical acts. In such a case it could be considered a revival. That’s fine. There is no damage to the original performer’s career. It is also useful for judging the quality of the performance. When you are looking at two people doing the same act, differences can emerge.

I will occasionally post stories about comedy being revived, or gags being reused, or old acts inspiring new ones. It’s all part of the business of comedy. Virtually every joke in the world gets passed around, especially the good ones.

Slava Polunin, part 2.

For some wonderful photos and more visit Academy of Fools.


What Is My Kind of Theatre?
The Theatre I Love

– It is a kind of wedding cavalcade,
where I try to marry everyone to everyone;

– It is a theatre of ritual magic
and festive pageantry,
constructed on the basis of images and movements,
games and fantasies,
that are the common creation of the audience and the people of the theatre;

– It is a theatre which inexorably grows
from dreams and tales;

– It is a theatre of hopes and dreams,
full of longing and loneliness,
losses and disillusionment;

– It is a theatre which always changes,
which breaths spontaneous improvisation
and cares scrupulously for tradition;

– It is in the vein of contemporary
multi-layered synthesis,
on the boundary of life and art;

– It is a theatre that works in an epic-intimate alloy
of tragedy and comedy,
of absurdity and naivity,
of cruelty and gentleness;

– It is a theatre which escapes
definition and the unequivocal
understanding of its actions,
as from attempts
to usurp its freedom.

Slava Polunin

I found a translated interview with Polunin, and here are some excerpts.

As for my profession, here I started with the naïve things, a mere eccentric pantomime. My ideal was an early Chaplin. I took eccentricity very seriously and studied a theory of trick. When Buster Keaton worked at the film studio, he carried two suitcases of tricks with him – two actual suitcases with files of enlisted tricks, a real collection. I did the same. I even elaborated a theory: if a turn consists of 25 tricks, it can be considered classical. I worked at the rhythm, at the techniques; I elaborated a whole eccentric scale. But when I reached the top, I lost the interest: quantity didn’t provide quality. I could make people roll in the aisles, it didn’t take any effort, but I suddenly understood: laughter is not so important. I began doing only 5 tricks instead of 25, so the techniques did not go against the rhythm of personage’s character development. I concentrated on the personage, on his condition and thoughts. Thus eccentricity changed to poetical process.

If the crowd is moving in one direction, screaming, then, maybe, you should take an opposite direction and keep silence? We need to find the means to be heard and to be noticed, we need to make people want to listen to us. The circus has lost the poetic emotion; I’ve decided to bring it back.

At first I demanded my guys to be straight, slim, brawny, to do yoga, ballet dancing. But later it became clear that good-looking people do not fulfill their task; they rather broaden the precipice between the audience and us. We were in deep shit. And it was then that I forgot any former principles and began to take in the troupe the one-eyed, the cross-eyed, the ugly, the strange, the bold, the paunchy, as long as they delivered something nice to the performance. I’m joking, of course.

Slava will be voicing a character in the upcoming puppet film from Russia, GOFMANIADA

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