I should spend a little time considering the “straight man” in comedy. Margaret Dumont was probably the greatest straight woman of all time. Typically the term applies to verbal comedians, but I’m sure physical comedy has it’s own kind. What springs to mind is the audience member brought on stage to have fun with. Also, I think of the court jester who plays off the king as his straight man.
In animation, Elmer Fudd may be the greatest straight character ever. Foghorn Leghorn played off the dog. Did that dog have a name?
Here is Groucho Marx talking about the role of the straight man with Dan Rowen. On the TV show Laugh-In, Dan Rowan was the straight man to Dick Rowan’s dimwitted character.
One of the youtube commenters notes:
“Groucho & Chico traded being straight man to each other. Groucho played straight man to Chico quite a bit.”
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