Keystone: the life and clowns of Mack Sennett
From the author of Stan and Ollie--a funny, fresh, and compelling look at Hollywood's Original King of Comedy
From his early aspirations to sing opera, to his time under the tutelage of D. W. Griffith, to the fortune and notoriety that his uncanny eye for talent deservedly brought him, Mack Sennett stood behind his belief in individuality and originality. Now, more than eighty years after Sennett rose to heights that epitomized the American dream, the acclaimed biographer of Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers, and W. C. Fields offers a compelling account of comedy's transformation at the hands of a true master.
Regarded as the father of American slapstick, Sennett--iron-worker, boilermaker, actor, director, producer, writer, and creator of the infamous Keystone Kops--held audiences in thrall to a world where chaos was order and banana peels, car crashes, and leaps from tall buildings were a matter of course. As the cameras rolled and vaudeville gags morphed into celluloid wonders, the rising stars of Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, and Gloria Swanson were born. Behind it all was the "King of Comedy," governing from his office bathtub.
In this irresistible journey into early Hollywood at its peak, Simon Louvish crafts a fascinating portrait of the enigmatic entrepreneur. Through film scripts, telegrams, even liquor bills, Sennett's world is skillfully re-created, offering a rare and humorous glance into the infancy and innocence of moving pictures.