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Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Comedy New To Me


Andy Clyde for Columbia: Home On The Rage (1938)

Every Columbia comedy title seemed to be a play on words; you'd think there would have come a point when they simply ran out. Was there someone whose entire job it was to think them up? Andy Clyde's were a group we never had on television down here. Don't know that I would have watched in any event. He's a mild presence ... assume that was Andy's career-long persona ... am I wrong? Is Home On The Rage typical of his? AC on this occasion thinks the wife and brother-in-law want to off him for insurance money. Actually, it's his dog they want to kill, which struck me nearly as disagreeable, "Ace" being a skilled and graceful animal (his contract transferred from RKO, it's said). People at Columbia were always getting splattered by ink, paint, or what-not. Cleaning up after must have been a large part of negative cost. We're given Home On The Rage in a "Rare Treasures" Columbia DVD set because one-time Stooge Shemp Howard is in it. He's the obnoxious brother-in-law, as in really obnoxious to a point of homicidal. Wonder if Shemp made creative contribution or just took orders. I'll need to enroll in Columbia comedy school, and their Treasures set looks like a fair place to start.

4 Comments:

Blogger Jim Lane said...

I see what you mean about those Columbia short titles. The Three Stooges pictures are prime examples; sometimes the titles were cleverer than the shorts they graced (if that's the right word). I think my favorite was Violent is the Word for Curly.

12:19 AM  
Blogger Scott MacGillivray said...

Andy Clyde can do no wrong in my book. Amid all the blunt, raucous Columbia roughhouse he is calm and economical: instead of doing big Jules White takes and yells, Andy raises an eyebrow, or shudders slightly, or mutters something, and gets the laugh just the same.
The Clyde shorts in the Stooge sets are nice to have, but not his most typical. On an "exhibition" note, Andy Clyde had the longest starring career in short-subject history (1922-56) and Columbia reissued his shorts through 1964.

12:44 PM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Thanks for this info, Scott. You should be head instructor at the Columbia Comedy School.

I had no idea they were still reissuing the Andy Clydes into 1964. Quite an impressive run.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Scott MacGillivray said...

Yes, Columbia reissued its older "Comedy Favorites" (non-Stooge) shorts on an average of one title per month through June 1964. Most of the starring series made encore appearances, beginning with Buster Keaton in 1948; only the Charley Chase shorts were never reissued.

Can you imagine some enterprising Columbia booker making a package-deal pitch in 1964: "You can have GOOD NEIGHBOR SAM only if you take PARDON MY BERTH MARKS with it!"

Ted Okuda is the dean of the Columbia Laughing Academy. I am merely an adjunct professor.

1:18 PM  

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