Fatty and Mabel's Simple Life

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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.

Online: Internet Archive


Those Country Kids

Like an old country mule, this just plods along (obscured by poor print), until Al St. John enters. But he soon exits and story degenerates to a generic chase, with no laughs. Mere months later, this is remade as Fatty and Mabel's Simple Life. And five years later, in the Comique era, the fetch-the-fallen-from-the-well gag gets developed into grand absurdity in Love.


Once again, Fatty must fight off rival Al for an old man's daughter, and go drag just to be with her. But the old story is recast with new faces, and the limitations of Newtonian physics are replaced by the endless possibilities of the Loonyverse, where the slightest perturbation can propel a comic into weightless flight. Buster's face is missing from this one, but his spirit is felt when the dainty love interest does the same backflip-over-a-table stunt that we saw Buster do in Oh Doctor.