Written by Kami at Classic Couple.
Experience the evolution of slapstick comedy on film in three films released in 1914: Caught in a Cabaret released April 27, His Trysting Place released on November 9, and Tillie’s Punctured Romance released December 21.
Keystone Studios served as production house, Mack Sennett worked as producer and Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand and Mack Swain starred in all three films. Watching these three films is like taking a master class in slapstick, an early form of physical comedy relying on exaggerated physicality.
Early vaudeville and music hall comedians honed their skills as pantomime artists performing sketches that relied on amplified interactions and oversized movements—trips, slips, falls, jumps, punches, kicks, and slaps abound. Often centering around fights between characters, the action in this type of performance is augmented with the sound of a slap stick consisting of two thin slats of wood, which when struck together make a slap sound. Slapstick comedy took its name from the slap stick. Fred Karno, an English music hall comedian, is credited with the creation of slapstick comedy as we see it in early films, with Charlie Chaplin a member of his troupe in the 1890s.
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