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Ladies and Gentlemen this is Alec wire presenting another comic artist close up and Ford told me says you know how come he said you know good Michigan top. 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. In the mid 1960s a man who won fame in the 20s and 30s revisited the entertainment scene. Harold Lloyd the great comedian of the early movies came around to college towns with a reissue of films from the era of the Golden Silents. He found a brand new audience a new generation of film fans eager to hear about his work in the slapstick days. Harold Lloyd explains the reception given his vintage film the freshman by modern
moviegoers. We don't call it the freshman. The freshman is incorporated in a picture that we now call Harold Lloyd funny side of life because we have taken about the first half hour to put in a prologue that is made up of about six or seven different pictures showing the different type of characters I played whether he was a rich boy or a poor man or whether he was a sophisticate or a bashful introvert or whether he was a go getter with just a natural kid. And these lead in to the freshman. And then we show the whole of the freshman course we've embellish to date since we produced it now with original music and and sound effects no narration and we left the freshman as it was originally with the titles in it and the funny part is that titles are proving to be very funny too. It's basically all university students that we've been showing it to
recently. Really I don't think that this particular picture the freshman everyone better even in the year that we first made the reception just couldn't have been nicer and more response responsive. Excellent reception from the college audience and today prompts a question what kind of audiences enjoyed Harold Lloyd pictures in the old days. We had I think the whole gamut. We had the youngsters from 12 on down. We had the high school group and the college group we had the family group. And one of the things that I was most proud of was that we had the businessmen because they could drop in and see one of our pictures after the complexities of the day and have an hour an hour and a half and forget all their worries and get a few laughs and. And so we appealed to I would say a very wide gamut. Now I still have the nostalgia
group the ones that saw me before and they see him again but to the younger group they they haven't seen me they're not familiar with the image that I played. So consequently we don't have those right now because they they don't know what to say what they're going to see when they when they see the name her lawyer if they know who here Lloyd is even. Once exposed to the man and his films they quickly find out who Harold Lloyd is a coed asks how he got into the film business and it seems it all turned on the flip of a coin. Yes dear I I've been feeling on in the theater since I've been about 12 years old. I don't think I have no one else in my family has ever been in the theatre. What he did in an amateur way. But I never had any idea of what I wanted to be in the theater with when I came
came out to California. I was playing in the fields. Funny thing I. Was living in. Omaha Nebraska. My father inherited a little money and being a very nice father he decided he wanted to do something for his son. He said there was no like to go. Would you like to go to New York. Would you like to go to California where I had a friend who was a leading man stuck on me and said he could get me a position and of course New York is the Mecca of the theaters. Oh so we flipped a coin. We actually did kiss. And the coin came up heads or tails whatever it was. Said California and out there we went and in going out there that was more or less kind of built to be the home of the movies and I don't know whether I answered your question there or not is a question over here. Yes I did. Yes. I had a little difficulty with pro-choice. While all through our
period every so often we get to lend each other and go often on our way in and everything is all smoothed out fine again tonight. That time I did so I went to the Senate. At that time it was over I was only getting five dollars a day and he hired somebody else for $10 and I was playing please well the others so I thought I was worth $10 a day too so I quit and I went to Tenet and wrote another two for a contract with half a year. He said they give it to him. They get the comedian back so he can the head become a hard life. We often leave a big sum of seventy five dollars a week which was most enticing. I remember the time I told Ford Sterling that I was going to Roach going on. He gave me some very good advice. I was playing mostly juveniles over it.
Center Studio I was in one of the Keystone Cops although I did do a keystone cop. Just one picture recently where you said you're a you've got a good future in the business and he said I think that you can do the same thing as Bobby Heron Now that was a jewel character that worked for D.W. Griffith's he was doing sexually well and with pictures. And Ford told me to get out of the comedy business he said you know good English you can be one of the top you're going to be a Barbie here and in a way it was pretty good advice. But he said well you want to go to the world. I said Well. Loaches smaller company you know as bigots and it was really just getting started. I said I think I'd rather be a big fish in a little pond little fish in a big pond. So it proved to be the right for us because I had a chance to learn comedy by trial and error. And I think it proved to be the. Best move for me.
A dialogue to span the years and a continuity in the history of the magic silver screen. A young film student then asks Harold Lloyd how did you determine the kind of character you would develop the part I am I wore we call I called my carriage the glass carriage. Sounds like a written character who he called last year because he was back and before that I was playing I didn't know were different characters I had a very broad one called love Lou and grotesque close oversight Hugh and little funny mustache little dots. I played no one before they called Willy work and he had broad shoulders and. Kind of a question still. Had. Something like the old movie Gus if you remember him with Happy Hooligan. You can't stay. I was never particularly happy with those characters although I will say that
long flu made a lot of money for us. And when I finally did stumble onto an icy stumble onto the character that I thought would be good for me with the glasses I got it from me. From a dramatic picture it was a minister a parson. And he looked like a very placid peaceful type of individual. But when he got riled up he was just the opposite. It was a good idea for Carrick And home to do it as a college boy college boy that looked like a little milquetoast but was and course they wouldn't let me get out doing the salute because we've done it for a long time and it was told from a monetary standpoint. So. I finally threatened to quit and he signed it and let me do it so. I started doing it and you know I was doing two leaders at that time and then but I geez I'm going back to doing one readers which was quite smart because I made them faster
in who was exposed more to the public. But it proved to be very very good from my standpoint because it gave me a complete individuality that I hadn't had before. As far as a character. It allowed me to wear regular clothes. And wear the big hues in the north although I had a symbol we all needed symbolism in those days. But here my station is each in pieces or cross-eyed or fat or eccentric and when they want to refer to somebody they say the skinny. One with a German thing for surely he has to have one with us. Nobody ever heard Forster and you have your fourth story and here he was one of the keystones top comedians in fact when Chaplin first went to Keystone we tried to get him to work like Ford story and not so successfully. So he changed and put down his
attire that he wore with a little train but I yes I got mine from this dramatic picture merely the basic idea he didn't wear horn rimmed glasses he had. He wore glasses I think it was the. Wire ones or so I think I was on the first ones in one room glasses had just come out and when I wore them. Funny thing is that they are here in Japan now. When I was over there last year they have horn rimmed glasses and they call them here like glass. Here's one more question. Yes. Yes. Oh well now I probably. Should want to explain. She's got a good point there because. You see all comedians are nuts in some ways rather. And
I have many avocations hobbies. Wish this Christmas tree happens to be one of them. When I see a Christmas tree I've never been able to explain it to anyone. This Christmas tree one we kept up for nearly two years. The one we have now has been up for well for over 10 months put up last Christmas. What is there for you that picture of you doesn't do it just that you happen to see the. Outline. Three dimensional and that comes close you're going to doesn't do it I've explained to people it's 16 feet high. That it's 10 feet wide it's trimmed all the way around you can't see the tree line and it has beautiful ornaments on one smooth we've collected from all over the world.
And after I go to an elaborate description of what it's like people walk in they go Oh so you know them paid a bit of attention. Outlier. That's similar to what we used to do a whole group of comedians used to meet up with every spare bank SR's studio he had a dressing room with. Steam Department steam bands etc. so Joelson Cantor Chaplin Keaton the whole group was just Eckstein tell each other what we should do and we all did exactly as we were then you're facing the other. But nevertheless it was a great rivalry in those days so. I guess. And let you folks go home. Thank you for being a Christian church we.
If you can hear Harold Lloyd still gets the lands and a roaring round of applause. Well these are by a comic whose work indoors from the days of the movie pioneers. Are comic artist close up featured the great comedian of early films Harold Lloyd Parsons were prerecorded. This is Alec wire speaking for the comic arts. The comic arts series with al the wire is produced by Michigan State University Radio in cooperation with the humor societies of America program consultant George Q. Lewis the music by Jerry Tillman. Your announcer can be chartered. For.
This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
The comic arts II
Harold Lloyd
Producing Organization
Michigan State University
WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
Essays and interviews on the nature and scope of humor in America. Program consultant for the series: George Q. Lewis of the Humor Societies of America. See also series 68-12. This prog.: Harold Lloyd: The Golden Silents.
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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: 68-29-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:51
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Chicago: “The comic arts II; Harold Lloyd,” 1968-09-29, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 23, 2024,
MLA: “The comic arts II; Harold Lloyd.” 1968-09-29. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 23, 2024. <>.
APA: The comic arts II; Harold Lloyd. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from