What’s your favorite silent movie belly laugh?

We all have favorite comedians and favorite comedy films but what about favorite comedy moments? Is there a scene that just makes you laugh out loud?

For me, the silent movie moment that makes me guffaw until I cry is the famous pants fight in the Laurel and Hardy comedy Youre Darn Tootin (1928). Slapstick isn’t generally my cup of tea but I laughed and laughed as the assorted characters attacked one another in the trousers. It’s your classic Stan and Ollie tit-for-tat battle taken beyond its logical conclusion. Great stuff.

Please share your favorite silent comedy moments and link to clips or GIFs!


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29 Replies to “What’s your favorite silent movie belly laugh?”

  1. What a marvelous L&H clip…really a side-splitter πŸ˜€

    Here’s a favorite of mine- from about the 9:30 mark to 14:00 in Keaton’s The Scarecrow (1920), an hilarious chase-down of Buster by his sweetheart’s “mad dog,” played by the wonderful Luke:

  2. Off hand, I can think of Buster Keaton’s Egyptian dance in Roscoe Arbuckle’s “The Cook,” and there’s Charlie Chaplin grooming the bearskin rug as a Hollywood set dresser in “Behind the Screen,” or impersonating a woman and flirting with the camera in the Essanay short “A Woman.” There are lots more!

  3. I’m another huge Buster fan and One Week was also the first movie that came to my mind too–but I think one of the absolute funniest, almost-literally-ROTFL films I’ve ever seen wasn’t even starring one of the “big three” (or four or whatever…), it was Pass the Gravy with Max Davidson. It seems to be on youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXQANS-V0YA and this fact is distracting me from the fact that I’m supposed to be working right now.

  4. Some great comedy clips in this thread!

    Personally, I’m on a roll with Luke, this time starring with Roscoe Arbuckle, Josephine Stevens, and many of the usual Keystone suspects in Fatty’s Plucky Pup, 1915 (particularly fond of the opening scene with Roscoe casually setting his bed on fire and his firefighting efforts):

      1. Might I also add that Phyllis Allen’s every action, particularly her pushing Roscoe aside to finally put out the fire, will always rank as a superb comedic moment πŸ™‚

    1. How could I have failed to single out Phyllis Allen’s characterization of a loving but sorely tried, exasperated mother. She and Roscoe worked hand in glove to sell the opening scenes!

  5. I love the scene in ‘Haunted Spooks’ where Harold Lloyd attempts suicide by tying a rock to his neck and jumping off a bridge – only to discover the water is
    ankle deep. Even though I know what’s gonna happen, it never fails to make me laugh so hard I wake up the cats.

  6. I’m not a huge fan of Laurel & Hardy, but there is a bit at the end of “The Battle of the Century” that always delights me. I love it because women are equal participants in the pie throwing, and the comic “cap” to the whole fight is given to a female extra, not to the stars. A ladylike bystander slips, sits in a pie, wiggles around in it, and finally closes the sequence with a classic leg shake. https://youtu.be/aHY5SM0YFv0?t=194

  7. The first one that comes to mind is the automated lunch feeding machine from Modern Times with Chaplin. Every time the napkin comes back to wipe his mouth, I just about fall off the couch laughing.

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