The Funny Parts

A History of Film Comedy Routines and Gags


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SKU: 9780786465132 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

Classic comedy routines and individual gags have been around for many hundreds of years, probably thousands; the best of these ribticklers make their merry way through theater, circus, film and television. The challenge to comedians has always been to adapt familiar material in a way that emphasizes their personal style and outlook. The many routines and gags cited in this illustrated history are lovingly deconstructed to show how they have been shaped to suit different eras and performers.
These tried and true laugh-provokers are indestructible. Through all the remakes, revivals, recycles and revamps, they have survived robustly to the present day. As these timeless comedy gems are traced to their beginnings and followed through the years, readers are taken on a mirthful journey from Keystone to Zombieland.

About the Author(s)

Anthony Balducci studied journalism at Baruch College and holds a criminology degree at University of Florida. He has written three previous books, numerous articles on film comedy and online contributions to Feet of Mud, World Cinema Paradise and other websites. He lives in New Port Richey, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Anthony Balducci
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 314
Bibliographic Info: 106 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6513-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8893-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Introduction      3

1 And Then There Were Pies      7

2 Mannequins and Other Dummies      16

3 Animals      34

4 Adventures in Eating      77

5 Attack of the Vamps      99

6 Indecent Exposure      107

7 Spooky Apparitions      118

8 Bombs and Burglars      130

9 How to Disguise Yourself as Furniture and Fool Your Friends      135

10 The Amazing Trapdoor Chase      145

11 Science and Magic      151

12 Tooth Extraction and Laughing Gas      158

13 Into the Looking Glass      162

14 Sleepless Nights      168

15 Fathers to Sons of the Desert      178

16 The Big Jangly Box, the Sliding Ladder and Other Comic Props      183

17 The Buster Keaton Variations      192

18 The Harold Lloyd Variations      222

19 Hysterical History      229

20 Bugs      241

21 Scared Black Servants, Dice-Playing African Cannibals, and the Most Racist Comedy in Silent Cinema History      245

22 Other Variations      259

Chapter Notes      299

Bibliography      303

Index      305