Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Billy Minus Mustache -- June 27, 2018

Moving Picture World, 01-June-1918

Billy West closely imitated Charlie Chaplin in a long series of comedies for different studios. While Chaplin was making the excellent Mutual comedies, West was making imitations of Chaplin's Essanay comedies. When Chaplin moved on to First National distribution, Billy West was still making comedies for King-Bee. King-Bee often came up with some interesting ads, but I couldn't find any from June, 1918.

Moving Picture World, 01-June-1918
"Straight and Narrow" featured Oliver Hardy, future partner of Stan Laurel and Leo White, who had worked with Chaplin.

Moving Picture World, 01-June-1918
Two fans of Billy West named their son after him.

Moving Picture World, 01-June-1918
I like the reference below the item to a war-time Red Cross drive.

Moving Picture World, 08-June-1918
Billy West's new leading lady was Myrtle Lind. "Playmates" also featured "Director Charles Parrott (later known as Charley Chase), who makes his debut as an actor in King-Bee Comedies, portraying a dope fiend."

Moving Picture World, 15-June-1918
Billy chose not to wear his Chaplin mustache for "Playmates," where he and Oliver Hardy played young children, in a large-scaled set, just as Hardy did in 1930 with Stan Laurel and without his mustache in "Brats."  King-Bee was making Billy West dolls that exhibitors could give away to their audiences.  I would like to see one of those.

Moving Picture World, 22-June-1918
Charles Parrott, who later starred in comedies as Charlie Chase, and Billy West planned to cooperate on a musical.  Parrott would write the lyrics and West would compose the music.

Moving Picture World, 22-June-1918
"Beauty in Distress" was to feature lots of pretty girls.

Moving Picture World, 22-June-1918
This item describes the special set for "Playmates," which would make Billy West and Oliver Hardy look like small children.

Moving Picture World, 29-June-1918
In its first year, King-Bee produced a Billy West comedy every two weeks.

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