Buster Keaton: The Persistence of Comedy by Imogen Sara SmithBuster Keaton: the Persistence of Comedy tells of the most dazzling and enigmatic of the silent clowns, a man who began his career in vaudeville as one-third of the Three Keatons, joining his parents at age four in their legendarily violent knockabout comedy act. He rose to the peak of his fame and artistic triumph while still in his twenties, directing and starring in a string of classic silent comedies, including his masterpiece, The General, only to fall from grace with shattering swiftness in the early 1930s. The coming of sound and the sea-change it brought to the movie industry, combined with Keatons loss of creative independence, personal troubles and a severe drinking problem almost ended his career. He persevered through years of eclipse, eventually making a comeback on television in the 1950s and living to see himself acclaimed as one of cinemas immortals. Delving beneath the familiar facts to uncover Keatons essential character as an artist, The Persistence of Comedy examines his life and work on both sides of the camera to create a rich portrait of the face, the body, the personality and the intelligence that went into his movies and continue to fascinate us because of his embodiment of paradoxes - artist and comic, director and performer, stuntman and subtle actor, icon of the machine age and lyrical portraitist of Americas past. Opposing qualities of irony and sweetness, logic and absurdity, passion and impassiveness dont just coexist in Keatons films and character, they are fused so completely that it is impossible to see where one ends and the other begins. Exploring controversies and unresolved questions, engaging previous criticism and offering new insights, ThePersistence of Comedy pays tribute to Keatons complexity and enduring relevance. His story inspires a meditation on the serious business of his comedy, the comic stance in life and Keatons own singular, bone-deep version of it. Illustrated with rare stills and drawing from a wide range of sources including never-before uncovered interviews with Keatons wives, this is an elegant celebration of Buster Keaton for both those already familiar with him and the newcomer.
Buckwild Facts About Silent Comedy Legend Buster Keaton
You might have recognized a familiar face in our new brand—that of silent film pioneer Buster Keaton. And why are we so keen to use him in our imagery? He showed that workplace accidents are a fact of life. At Company Nurse, we get that. Legend has it that when Houdini toured with the vaudevillian Keaton family, he witnessed the young Keaton tumble down a flight of stairs.
Toggle navigation. Buster Keaton Facts Buster Keaton was an American comedian, actor, producer, screenwriter, and director who became famous as a silent film star. By the age of 18 months he had been nicknamed Buster after falling down the stairs in front of Harry Houdini and wasn't injured. Houdini's reaction was to declare, "That was a real buster! Interesting Buster Keaton Facts: Buster Keaton performed physical comedy sketches with his parents in which his father threw him across the stage or into the audience. He was never injured but accusations of child abuse still occurred at times.
Child Vaudeville Star
Here are 8 things you should know about the comedy genius. By his 4 th birthday he was a full member of the company, performing a comedy routine with his father, which ended with Keaton Sr throwing his child in the orchestra pit. Buster would later use a lot of the old vaudeville gags in his films. He was an alcoholic by then, just like Buster would become in later life. It also gave his screen persona a melancholy, even sad quality.
Buster Keaton was one of the best known and most respected of the silent film comedians. Dubbed "The Great Stone Face" for his stoic demeanor, he wrote, directed and produced many of his films in the s and s. An innovator behind the camera as well as in front of it, Keaton was lauded for his sometimes dangerous brand of physical comedy and impeccable comic timing. He was the eldest of three children, including a younger brother and sister, born to two vaudevillians, Joseph Hallie Keaton and Myra Cutler. He received the nickname "Buster" while still an infant. Allegedly, Keaton suffered a nasty fall, but displayed a nonchalant reaction to it. This was witnessed by the magician Harry Houdini or, some say, actor George Pardey , who christened the hearty boy Buster.
Born to vaudeville performers, he began performing at age 3. He was introduced to film when he was 21 and eventually directed and starred in films in the s. His parents, Joe and Myra, were both veteran vaudevillian actors, and Keaton himself first began performing at the age of 3 when he was incorporated into their act. As legend has it, he earned the name of "Buster" when he was 18 months old, after falling down a flight of stairs. Magician Harry Houdini scooped up the child and turning to the boy's parents quipped, "That was a real buster! Keaton quickly grew used to being knocked around a bit.