Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Man Who Makes Laughter Compulsory -- October 25, 2017

Moving Picture World, 20-October-1917
Harold Lloyd had been successfully appearing in the Lonesome Luke comedies for Hal Roach's Rolin since 1915.  He felt dissatisfied with the unrealistic Luke, who had started as an imitation of Charley Chaplin, and looked for a new character.  Lloyd came up with what he called the "Glass Character."  "Over the Fence" was the first film with the glass character.  In what may have been a unique arrangement, Lloyd appeared in two-reelers as Lonesome Luke and one-reelers as the glass character.  Lloyd reasoned that the new character would get more exposure in the shorter films, which could be released more frequently. This is the first ad I have found that uses a photo of Lloyd as the "Glass Character" rather than Lonesome Luke.

Moving Picture World, 13-October-1917
This item reviews a Lonesome Luke. "Birds of a Feather" and a "Glass Character" film, "Bliss."

Moving Picture World, 20-October-1917
 Meanwhile, Hal Roach was looking for new stars.  He found the famous circus clown Toto, who was a Swiss man named Alfonso Novello. Toto came to the US during the war and was very successful in vaudeville.  He was less successful in the movies.  Notice that he started out in two-reelers, which were considered more important than one reelers. "The Toto comedies will make a misanthrope laugh." 

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