Works by Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle (49)

Mabel, Fatty and the Law/Fatty, Mabel and the Law/Fatty's Spooning Days

Ah, spooning...brings to mind some of life's sweetest intimate moments, doesn't it? Huddled over your heroin as it gently cooks up, or guiding that coke to the nostril flared in eager anticipation...But here “spooning” is used in the dated sense: i.e., what you do by the light of the silvery moon with your honey while you croon love's tune in June. That is, what other generations have called “making out”, “necking”, “petting”, “smooching”, “suck face”, “swapping spit” get the idea. So think of this as “Fatty's Suck Face Days”, where we get the rare cinematic treat of seeing crazy cops who are also bad cops: inept buffoons who also frame, rob and beat you.

Mabel And Fatty's Wash Day

Way back in the days of Mabel's Strange Predicament, Harry McCoy played Mabel's boyfriend: a smiling, dapper, charmer prone to violent jealous fits. Now that Mabel's living with him, he's a foul, deadbeat slob - and still prone to violent jealous fits. Meanwhile, in the time of Predicament, Alice Davenport played an overbearing wife who was quick to catfight her neighbor Mabel. Now she's dumped the old man for Roscoe - and still quick to catfight her neighbor Mabel. So when Roscoe washes his hanky at the same time Mabel washes her panky, hanky meets panky. Somewhat atypical Keystone: more farce than slapstick.

Fatty and Mabel's Simple Life

Modern science has yet to determine the precise sequence of events in the origin of the Loonyverse, but a general consensus has formed around this work. For the first 13 minutes of this remake of Those Country Kids, the humor stays around the level of Lumière's 1895 The Sprayer Sprayed (L'Arroseur arrosé): so slow and painfully corny that the cows protested that the stupidity was beneath their dignity. The only break in the drudgery is a rare glimpse at a dapper Al St. John (minus his clownish rube garb), who was surprisingly handsome beneath the makeup and mugging. But then, by some mysterious comic alchemy, the energy leaps exponentially as soon as Mabel dons a funny hat and cheerfully tosses a suitcase out one window, sending Roscoe crashing through another window, and the two of them steal Al's self-driving and self-willed car - starting a chase that pushes the silliness out of Keystone-realm into Comique-surreal. Clearly, this is such stuff as toons are made on.