"Cruel and Unusual Comedy"...on the air on NPR

Elif Rongen-Kaynakci and Steve Massa were guests on the Leonard Lopate Radio Program on March 16, 2012.

Listen here:

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cruel and Unusual Comedy: ROUND TWO!!

More Cruel and Unusual Comedy:
Social Commentary in the American Slapstick Film Part 2
(October 6 - 14, 2010)

Silent era slapstick treated social, cultural, political and aesthetic themes that continue to be central concerns around the world today. Issues of Race, ethnicity, gender, public order and industrialization have traditionally been among the most vital sources for rude forms of comedy. Drawing on the Museum’s holdings of silent comedy, acquired largely in the 1970’s and 80’s by retired curator Eileen Bowser, these programs present this otherwise little-seen body of work to contemporary audiences from an engaging perspective. The series continues with programs on the comedy of sexual identity, substance abuse, health care, homelessness and surrealism. All films are from the U.S. and are silent, with piano accompaniment by Ben Model.

Organized by Ron Magliozzi, Assistant Curator, with Steve Massa, film historian, and Ben Model, film historian and accompanist.

Film notes for each individual program are posted separately on this site.

"Gender Benders: Masculine Women/Feminine Men"
Fri, Oct 8 at 4:30 & Sat Oct 9 at 8:00

  • Rowdy Ann (1919) - Fay Tincher
  • Hearts and Flowers (1919) - Louise Fazenda, Ford Sterling, Phyllis Haver
  • Shanghaied Lovers (1924) - Harry Langdon, Kalla Pasha, Alice Day, Andy Clyde
  • A Sorority Mix-Up (1927) - Buddy Messinger, Anne Porter, Mr. X (chimp)
  • Crushed (1924) - Lloyd Hamilton, Dorothy Seastrom, Blanche Payson

"Altered States: Under the Influence"
Thurs Oct 7 at 8:00 & Thurs Oct 14 at 4:30

  • Mabel’s Married Life (1914) - Charlie Chaplin, Normand, Mack Swain
  • Mystery of the Leaping Fish (1915) - Douglas Fairbanks, Bessie Love
  • How Dry I Am (1919) - Snub Pollard, Ernest “Sunshine Sammy” Morrison, Mildred Davis
  • The Gum Riot (1920) - Hank Mann, Madge Kirby, Vernon Dent
  • What a Night (1924) - Lige Conley, Otto Fries, Louise Carver

"Unsocialized Medicine: The Health Care Crisis"
Thurs Oct 7 at 4:30 & Thurs Oct 14 at 8:00

  • Bunny Backslides (1914) - John Bunny, Flora Finch
  • A Professional Patient (1917) - Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drew
  • The Snow Cure (1916) - Alice Davenport, Ford Sterling, Slim Summerville, Bruno the bear
  • Naughty Nurses (1920) - Hank Mann, Madge Kirby, Vernon Dent.
  • Good Night Nurse (1929) - Lupino Lane, Wallace Lupino

"Class War: How the Other Half Lives"
Weds Oct 6 at 8:00 & Sun Oct 10 at 2:00

  • Bunny and the Bunny Hug (aka Bunny Dips Into Society) (1913) - John Bunny
  • Luke’s Shattered Sleep (1916) - Harold Lloyd, Bebe Daniels, Snub Pollard
  • Time Flies (1926) - Lupino Lane, Wallace Lupino, Virginia Vance
  • Sweetie (1923) - Baby Peggy, Jerry Mandy, Louise Lorraine, Max Asher
  • The Vagrant (1921) - Lloyd Hamilton, Hugh Fay, Tom Wilson, Lige Conley

"The Surreal Life: Dallying with the Absurd"
Fri Oct 8 at 8:00 & Sat Oct 9 at 2:00

  • Some Hero (1916) - Manuel Fernandez Perez (aka Marcel Fabre), Babette Fabre (aka Nilde Barrachi)
  • A Schoolhouse Scandal (1919) - Slim Summerville, Ethel Teare, Tom Kennedy, Polly Moran
  • Kiss Me Quick (1920) - Clyde Cook, Bobby Dunn, Blanche Payson
  • All Wet (1922) - Al St. John, Otto Fries, Ford West
  • Egged On (1926) - Charley Bowers, Winifred Leighton

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