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Sunday, 28 October 2007

Shaw & Lee, the Beau Brummels (1928) ?

In Vitaphone short 2686, Al Shaw & Sam Lee sing straight faced nonsense songs and tell jokes. Their gimmick seems to be alternating jokes and then occasionally starting one at the same time, the catchphrase being 'Huh?' One of the songs was pretty cool, being a song about a song with no real words. The pairing of Shaw & Lee was obviously a very talented one, with both of them having impeccable timing. The little dance at the end of their show is exquisite and the straight faces are admirable.

However the material is painful and I wonder if that's entirely the point. I found myself laughing at points, not at the jokes but at how truly awful they were.

2 comments:

Eric Stott said...

That's the point! Their jokes are terrible and obviously so. When one of the jokes falls flat one guy says "You don't get it". The other responds "I don't want it!"

Eric said...

This was my favorite short on the Jazz Singer set, especially "This Is The Verse", a meta song before meta was even invented. These guys are just otherworldly.