Tag Archive | chaplin

Why Not Use Words?

There is something really odd about a character that doesn’t talk. Silence holds a unique tension. Stillness is the same. They create a wonderful expectancy. Think of being in any situation with a group of people, one of whom never speaks. What would you think of that person? I not against talking. I’m definitely not against […]

How to Write a Comedy Scene

Here are some simple things that you can do to make a great comedy scene. There are no absolute rules – but here are some ideas and examples to get you started. Characters Try and make your characters as exact as possible. Give them an “attitude” – which is a bit like an emotion, or […]

Performer Analysis: Chaplin (or A Kick Up My Backside!)

I had been feeling rather pleased with myself. I had worked out that I’d performed thousands of live shows to over half a million people; I felt that I had a developed a high level of understanding of the process of clowning and visual comedy; and I had just finished making four short slapstick films, which […]

Performer Analysis: George Carl

There are better quality clips of George Carl on youtube, but this is my favourite. The audience is right behind him which gives a great fluency and sharpness to his schtick. George Carl is probably best known to modern audiences for his role in the film “Funny Bones” as an old variety entertainer who never speaks. Carl is […]

A Bit of Animal Magnetism

One of the stranger aspects of visual performance, clowning and animation is that the characters often have an “animal-like” or “non-human” quality. This wonderful clip of the Godfrey Daniels character sums it up perfectly. The character is roughly human, but we certainly don’t react to him as we would a “person”. He doesn’t speak and […]

Why Do Visual Comics Use Weird Voices?!

Shut up. Shut UP. SHADDUP SHADDUP. SHUUUUUT UUUUUUUP! That’s the standard reaction I get when I do my (terrible) Jerry Lewis impression. It’s not just my Jerry Lewis. It’s my Norman Wisdom, my Peewee Herman and my Jo Pasquale. I have always wondered why  so many comics use these high pitched (some might say annoying) voices […]

The Celestial Light of the Silver Screen

Since 2006, the well known UK comedian Paul Merton has shared his enthusiasm for silent comedy in books and television programmes. I love Merton’s delight for the genre – and he has made it fashionable with a previously skeptical audience. A few years ago, I went to see Paul Merton talk. I was expecting an […]