Cast & Crew
E. Livingston Kennedy
In this short silent comedy, the feud between two street musicians spreads to passersby.
E. Livingston Kennedy
Christian J. Frank
You're Darn Tootin'
Part of that alchemical formula was the realization that familiarity was a good thing. Tried and true routines were favored, and new innovations were consciously turned into comic rituals, obsessively repeated.
By the time of You're Darn Tootin' (1928), Laurel and Hardy had established themselves as the undisputed stars of the Hal Roach studio, and the entire Hal Roach output was increasingly geared to Laurel and Hardy specifications. Here they were as the centerpieces of a comic universe uniquely warped to fit them, yet still they played misfits within that world.
In You're Darn Tootin', the boys are down and out musicians. That they lose their jobs in the spectacularly catastrophic band recital in the opening sequence should come as no surprise. The surprise is that any self-respecting band director would have ever hired them in the first place.
Seeking some way of turning their musical inclinations into rent money, Stan and Ollie take to the streets to busk--and it is here that another crucial component of the Laurel and Hardy comedy formula comes to light.
It begins with a kick to the shin--a simple act of slapstick violence as common as a garden weed. There is retaliation--a kick back--and this too is familiar and unremarkable. It is what comes next that counts.
Others are drawn into the shin-kicking fracas, for reasons too tenuous to even bother reciting. And as innocent bystanders get sucked into the melee, like planets falling into a black hole, the shin-kicking gives way to pants-ripping. Here are surging crowds of people whose only relationship to one another is an urgent need to get revenge by tearing someone else's trousers.
Laurel and Hardy are the Typhoid Marys of a slapstick epidemic. Their comic havoc is literally contagious.
This then is the secret to Laurel and Hardy's ability to turn anything into comedy gold: the alchemical formula is Familiarity + Ritual + Escalation.
Producer: Hal Roach
Director: E. Livingston Kennedy
Screenplay: H.M. Walker (titles)
Cinematography: Floyd Jackman
Film Editing: Richard C. Currier
Cast: Stan Laurel (Stanley, clarinet player), Oliver Hardy (Ollie, French horn player), Wilson Benge (Musician), Chet Brandenburg (Manhole worker), Christian J. Frank (Policeman), Dick Gilbert (Boarder), Charlie Hall (Musician), William Irving (Musician), Ham Kinsey (Musician), Otto Lederer (Bandleader).
by David Kalat
Simon Louvish, Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy.
Leonard Maltin, The Great Movie Comedians.
Walter Kerr, The Silent Clowns.