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Ladies and Gentlemen this is our live wire reconvening the case for comedy. So what you please make an opening statement. Motion picture captures and more or less like beds on a subway screen words on television and moments as can be done. Had you waited. For Michigan State University radio presents the comic arts and essay and sound on the humor of our times featuring the comic the humorist the joke writer the clown the Dauntless individuals who work in the world of comedy. As a struggling comedian I know it's a long way from the Borscht Belt to Hollywood and only if you ever make it still between engagements when time hangs heavy on your hands. You return to the Popcorn Palace again to get another show to watch the cinema clowns give or to dream a little and wonder now and then
if you could ever take your place in that long funny line with those fine comedians who have filled our theaters with laughter for over half a century a mood of reverence comes over you as you recall those great buffalo wings who gave such joy to your boyhood years and fashioned a place for their attic charades with the comic arts in films. There's a real you know they're calling some of these pictures and several of us made the call and as I say you generally have to die before that takes place. Harold Lloyd talks with college students face. I'm sorry to say they have passed on. No I don't recall that. You see in the early days the pictures were completely slapstick pictures and even today they call most of the pictures. The group was made and the gong slapstick pictures but they're not really slapstick pictures not feature pictures to readers. They are a combination of many different
types of comedy. There are a lot of slapstick in but they have broad comedy like comedy farce comedy have a lot of dramatic comedy some of the space in the carriage comes so there are whole concussion different kinds of comedies and sometimes some of them don't have. Well let's take a picture like captains go right on the vest that has a certain amount of plastic you know you could because it's less comedy as far removed from that nothing that slapstick hasn't got its place too. But I'm just saying they do blank slapstick comedy zone on a lot of them are not. Maybe that's why they're making him say that but I don't think they are hardy you don't think
oh lord Harvey three of the march have gone Herrion and gone for many years and I don't think you might hear of the just one you left. But those who are gone will be remembered for their legends live on and their films remain a legacy for comedy creators today video comic Chuck McCann reveres the Laurel and Hardy style perceive the basic continuity and the history of comedy through the years. Thank you so much to the people of comedy and I think to the American public. And in terms of their And and even today their films. Play on television quite frequently and there is no times as you've seen and you can see it a lot on how to film over and over again. There's always something in it that you hadn't seen
before. Then for the first time in the history of time or in the arts anyway where an artist other than a painter or a sculptor kind of moralize their work motion picture film captures performances and more or less like canvas been Instead it's on a subway screen or ads on television and the performances can be perpetuated as long as the motion picture film exists and there's somebody to run it through a projector and it's an art form. I believe that because you will have museums where they will they have them now but I mean there will be a brother in New York there are many other women House of course and there are many throughout the country who are beginning to realize. Entertaining us rather hard to do great performances today these great performers that have lived like Laurel and Hardy and Chaplin and Buster Keaton. They're leaving us and they're
going and they're going to live they're going on that set and we have to develop new comedians we have to develop new comedy and we have to kind of the to the to the campuses that painted and created and and save them for future generations to learn from then because I'm sure Laurel and Hardy learn from you know and I know I had idols in England when I worked in the English musical. And he learned from them and I'm gradually they learn from their idol. Now take Jackie Gleason from Laurel and Hardy. Intentionally or unintentionally. When he developed the Honeymooners it has the same basic patterns. Mr Gleason also had a great devotion I think project you can see it when he works in one. He's definitely he has the same feeling with the you know loved Jack Oakie tremendously as well as Laurel and Hardy and there are many other little nuances the Bluefin's
work and his other performances and those other characters either. I'm not saying that Gleason had seen this film of the vine and had taken it but I think he absorbed from other comedians comedians that he loved. I have to go along and say that I had developed largely a lot of my character to develop from glistens gone through four generations of comedy and we're all learning from each other. Hold onto the canvases and keep the art alive as you study yesterday's masterworks for the guidance you may discover and you never forget that audience in the darkened movie house. Still the essential element is Danny Thomas points out. Years ago. I saw what I still consider one of the funniest pictures of all time. And you're good with tragic in many ways tragic comedy I called it called a miracle of Morgan's Creek.
Dog Eddie Bracken. And that he had and really I'm Demaree He was produced and directed by Preston Sturges. To me. It is a text book and situation coming out and I have a print of it. I don't talk about you know kids. Young people are learning today. That's something to learn from this man didn't do a double take you did cripple. He was and you talk about a man in trouble who she was pregnant and out of wedlock not really out of wedlock she had wedded a soldier who married her would the ring from a shade to her and she couldn't. Because you get ahead when you're drinking champagne even got she hit her head on one of these colored balls in a ballroom you know and it was a U.S. sort of thing and if you were you know some guy you'd love to go to name one and they all went and you know lapped it all not
a married. Now she is with child. And has no Prada doesn't know what is the best they can make out in a miserable Radtke wacky and then and now yeah. And now she's out of him he's been he's for I have a nine to get gets a spot in the book of biography and everything and I'd love to do that plain and. Thank you pry only ask him to marry. He even proposed and I have a three year you know dinner and knowledge and then he accepts and then she can't accept him she can do it I mean she doesn't do it alone. Orrible. That. Play I saw three times in a full theater. First run. I swear to you I must have to die. What Greene in the audience and I don't like. Came back a second. I want to hear it all. Couldn't hear it. I'm not happy.
And there was an almighty there that many of the guys playing the Copacabana after a performance was a labor of comics and I know my powers want around that night and I just drove into the city and I seen on it all my dear the. Miracle of what I've been Create how to how to. I'm going to get a dialogue now Gaby began three o'clock in the morning. There were 12 people six seven that very. Early on I hear that run going no matter what I get and we can get you. I heard every line of dialogue. In complete silence there. Same play. That gave way. COMINIUS reaction here and there were people to react. That proved it to me. Before I ever needed to have it to prove it to anybody else but I drew
from that later on when they we discussed it now that we need. Talent is the touchstone in the history of this dynamic art and praise for the talent of comics today comes from a star of the old time films. A compliment to bridge the years from actor Harold Lloyd. I will just take Trenton's talent we have great comedians wonderful comedians they've just taken naturally dialogue minutely into a different pattern and what we had we. In the early days we had no opportunity to use dialogue. So we had to rely upon action and pantomime and of course. The comedians went on they got away from the old basic type of pantomime that became more subtle way. And today with the comedians of today we have so many
different kinds you have some you rely entirely on the spoken word. We sometimes refer to men who think comedians and a lot of heat. I don't particularly like the commuters but sure it's a very difficult road to trade to get your routines and that in to live with them properly is it is a hard chore and I have great respect for it but we have so many we have one young man right now that I think is a splendid comedian could have been very good in my my era. Dick Van Dyke I think he's splendid. Jack Lemmon is a fine for me. Does drama work. Alec Guinness wonderful comedian. We have so many and Gleason scalpel in our car New York you go on name one after the early have find me is just don't seem to work the way we did because the dialogue that
led them in another the other direction. Some of them have tried to get back to ours but I don't when I say get back to it I don't mean literally because I want to make picture day I would try to make it like I did before I would keep a lot of the ingredients that I use for a key action I keep less dialogue and use dialogue to try to take advantage of it every chance we have afterward. We see and we hear and I'm glad they have got melon pictures right that somebody did have it for a while but I don't think. But he certainly is not for lack of talent. They're not doing away with cameras roll and the show goes on and comedy remains a superstar. Their old master is carefully preserved as a heritage for performers and audiences
yet to come for a new generation which will carry on the great tradition of the comic arts in film. Thanks to our guests Harold Lloyd Jackie McCann and Danny Thomas abortions were pre recorded. This is Alex. The next session goes out on the town to survey the nightclub scene showcase where the comic acts. The comic art series with Alice wire is produced by Michigan State University Radio in cooperation with the humor societies of America program consultant George Q. Lewis music by Gerry Tillman. Your announcer can be charter. For.
The comic arts
Episode Number
Episode 9 of 13
Producing Organization
Michigan State University
WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3293. This prog.: Harold Lloyd, Chuck McCann, Danny Thomas
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Producing Organization: Michigan State University
Producing Organization: WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-12-9 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:43
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Chicago: “The comic arts; Episode 9 of 13,” 1968-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 19, 2022,
MLA: “The comic arts; Episode 9 of 13.” 1968-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 19, 2022. <>.
APA: The comic arts; Episode 9 of 13. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from