|Motion Picture News, 30-June-1923|
Roscoe Arbuckle was blacklisted by the film industry even though he was acquitted of a charge of manslaughter. 100 years ago this month, he appeared on stage in Chicago and was well-received. Minta Durfee was the wife who stood by Roscoe during his trials. The House of David was a religious commune that became famous for its amusement park and travelling baseball teams. The men were required to wear beards.
|Indianapolis Times, 05-June-1923|
Arbuckle ‘Does His Stuff’.
After 12-Minute Ovation
Fat Comedian 'Comes Back’ Amid Cheers at Chicago
Cabaret -- Revives Slap-Stick Comedy.
By United Press
CHICAGO, June 5. -- Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle came back today.
A crowd of 2,000 from Chicago's fashionable "Gold Coast" crowded the Marigold Gardens, a North Shore cabaret last night and cheered as he did his old-time stuff.
"Fatty" appeared in his first real "test" for a return to public favor since the 1921 Labor day tragedy in San Francisco. The amusement resort habitues of Virginia Rappe’s home town declared in a twelve minute ovation of cheers and applause they are ready to forget the affair.
"That’s the first real smile I’ve had for a long time," said "Fatty" today.
Typical Cabaret Show
Arbuckle staged his "come back" with a typical cabaret show, mixed with slap-stick movie comedy. Preceded by a bevy of pretty girls in costumes pre-reminiscent of Cleopatra and another group that wore clothes startling like those made famous by Isadora Duncan, he brought his first laugh with a freak gymnastic act. Then in pink whiskers and a "wig," he imitated "King" Benjamin of the House of David, leading a rollicking chorus about the Benton Harbor cult to the tune of "London Bridge is Falling Down."
"Fatty" wound up the evening with reviving a use for custard pies. He took one in the face without blinking an eyelash. After he did that everybody near the stage. Including Raymond Hitchcock, the "aristocrat of comedy," climbed up and shook his hand.
The big comedian apologized for being nervous.
Woman Uses Cheers
"If you'll overlook that. I’ll be all right in a day or two." he told his audience. A young woman in evening gown climbed on a table, waved her hat around her head and led three cheers.
Scores of congratulatory telegrams were received by Arbuckle today. There was also a long one from the wife who "stood by" him at the San Francisco trials.
Buster Keaton wired:
"Fatty, let your conscience be your guide."
|Chicago Tribune, 01-June-1923|