WHERE TO FIND STEPHEN’S FUNNY THINGS FOR THIS EPISODE:
Hannah Gadsby’s Netflix special Douglas
… Well, it’s on Netflix.
The Buster Keaton film One Week (1920)
You can watch it on YouTube, right here!
And if you’d like to download it, you can, right HERE at The Internet Archive…
I forgot to mention it in the podcast, but One Week is the first time we see Buster do THIS gag (where the wall of the house falls over him but he’s fine because he’s standing where the hole for the window lands). When you examine this gag, it’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer gutsy craftsmanship of the thing. Note that he’s not just standing still where the wall lands; he actually walks INTO that final position. If he walked a fraction too fast or slow, or ended up a couple of inches outside his designated final position, it would’ve been disastrous. It would have been so much easier – and safer! – for him to just be standing still on the safe spot when the wall falls around him. But not Buster Keaton; he always went the extra mile for a more thrilling visceral gag. Note, too, that when he is maneuvering himself into that final position, he’s not looking at the ground, not carefully marking his steps, there’s no nervousness or hesitation; nothing to let you know that he’s actually in genuine physical danger. Nope, he’s just shuffling along – and not even in a straight line! (which would have made it slightly easier and safer). He walks in a little curve, looking vaguely around him; there’s not a thing in his performance to reveal how high the stakes are if he gets this wrong… Now that’s guts and commitment. That’s whatever-it-takes-for-the-best-possible-gag. You’re a LEGEND, Buster.
WHERE TO FIND BILL’S FUNNY THINGS FOR THIS EPISODE:
The Mitchell & Webb sketch
Mike Nichols & Elaine May’s Mother and Son sketch