Best ( Forgotten ) Comedy Teams

Isn't Romantic Comedy redundant?

Moderators: Sue Sue Applegate, movieman1957, moira finnie, Lzcutter

Post Reply
User avatar
ken123
Posts: 1807
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 4:08 pm
Location: Chicago

Best ( Forgotten ) Comedy Teams

Post by ken123 »

In my mind the " comedy team " of Wheeler & Woolsey is best forgotten. But is there a movie comedy that deserves remembering and isn't today ? How about Patsy Kelly & Thelma Todd ? :lol:
User avatar
mrsl
Posts: 4220
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 5:20 pm
Location: Chicago SW suburbs

Post by mrsl »

In 1950 there was a movie made by the name of Mrs. O'Malley and Mr. Malone, starring Marjorie Reynolds and James Whitmore. It was to be the beginning of a series but that idea never happened, and I don't know why not. It was a terrific comedy/mystery. Main and Whitmore played off each other perfectly, and the movie was a hit at the time. I guess the studio dropped the idea because of TV having so many mystery/detective programs on at the time, like Mr & Mrs. North, Topper and the weekly Loretta Young shows.

It's really a shame though. A series of O'Malley & Malone could probably have been bigger than the Thin Man. I assume that as two of the best supporting male and female actors around, they played together often, and this movie was the frosting on the cake for them. Until I recalled this movie, I wondered why James Whitmore narrates the tribute to Mrs. Main on the TCM short they do.

Anne
User avatar
ken123
Posts: 1807
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 4:08 pm
Location: Chicago

Post by ken123 »

SHolmes wrote:I'm probably misinterpreting your theme so forgive me but one comedy team that appears to be "forgotten" and maybe ought not to be was the Ritz Brothers. I've only seen them twice and sadly didn't get the first one on tape. But I did the second movie and laughed continuously through it. It was:


Gorilla; The (1939) Ritz Brothers, Anita Louise When a wealthy man (Atwill) is threatened by a killer known as The Gorilla, he hires the Ritz Brothers to investigate. And these comedians go to work with the skill, or perhaps lack of, any amatuer Sherlock Holmes. And, as usual, solve the case albeit by accident rather than by genuine detecting.
The Ritz Brothers are aided by Patsy Kelly, as a sassy maid. I think I still have the VHS tape of this Fox Film. The Gorilla is the best Ritz Brothers full length IMHO. :lol:
User avatar
mrsl
Posts: 4220
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 5:20 pm
Location: Chicago SW suburbs

Post by mrsl »

Ken123:

I'm afraid I totally misunderstood your title and simply mentioned a comedy team that was forgotten but should not have been.

Although they were not really a team, and only did one comedy together, the teaming of Bob Hope and Hedy Lamar in My Favorite Spy never clicked with me. It seemed like Bob was trying his best to bring some laughs across, but never quite made it. Hedy was just a little too serious for it. I'm not knocking Hedy's talents, just seemed like this wasn't the right role for her.

Anne
User avatar
ken123
Posts: 1807
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 4:08 pm
Location: Chicago

Post by ken123 »

mrsl wrote:Ken123:

I'm afraid I totally misunderstood your title and simply mentioned a comedy team that was forgotten but should not have been.

Although they were not really a team, and only did one comedy together, the teaming of Bob Hope and Hedy Lamar in My Favorite Spy never clicked with me. It seemed like Bob was trying his best to bring some laughs across, but never quite made it. Hedy was just a little too serious for it. I'm not knocking Hedy's talents, just seemed like this wasn't the right role for her.

Anne
I agree about Hedy, but you had better not let GarboManaic - Garbomania find iut about this. :roll:
User avatar
Garbomaniac
Posts: 349
Joined: May 11th, 2007, 10:00 pm

Post by Garbomaniac »

Aha! Gottcha! Not really. I don't care for, see I can't even remember the name, that movie with Hedy and Bob. Everything I read says they didn't care much for working with each other since their styles were so different, and it shows. Also, Hedy said Bob cut the picture so badly that all of her good stuff lay on the cutting room floor in order to make it his picture. Well, that could very well be, but I still don't think Hedy could have stolen the show from Hope, but then again, she was Hedy Lamarr.

Oh, yeah, it was My Favorite Spy.
User avatar
Garbomaniac
Posts: 349
Joined: May 11th, 2007, 10:00 pm

Post by Garbomaniac »

Now, back to your original question. One of the teams I have recently discovered through TCM is exactly who you mentioned, Patsy Kelly and Thelma Todd. I think their shorts are very entertaining and they work together like Hope and Crosby! I wish they would show more of them, like a half day all in one shot. Anyway, I think they're swell!

As to teams who maybe should have never been, one I have never been able to watch is Martin and Lewis. I could take Martin alone, and every once in a while I could stand a Lewis film, but together, I just can't finish watching the movie. I have always either turned the channel, or taken the film out of someone else's VCR and suggested we watch something with more substance!
User avatar
precoder
Posts: 59
Joined: May 21st, 2007, 6:54 pm
Location: Missouri

Re: Best ( Forgotten ) Comedy Teams

Post by precoder »

ken123 wrote:How about Patsy Kelly & Thelma Todd ? :lol:
Those were Hal Roach/Gus Meins shorts and the first couple made were Thelma with Zasu Pitts. I think those are funny and they were definately a compatible team. I've always gotten a kick of Patsy Kelly's loud-mouth wise-cracks whatever the role. But those shorts I really laughed at. One called "Soup In Fish" is too, too funny with Billy Gilbert finding them self-invited at his dinner affair with sight gags Patsy uses to embarrass Thelma with. They always played under their own names in those. Let me see if I get this right: Thelma 'Alice' Todd and Patricia 'Veronica' Kelly ...

Courtesan: "Oh, and this is the Earl" ...
Kelly: "Well, if that's the earl, you better have him checked every five thousand miles" ...
I absolutely adore movies. Even bad ones. I don't like pretentious ones, but a good bad movie, you must admit, is great. ~ Roddy McDowell
User avatar
movieman1957
Administrator
Posts: 5513
Joined: April 15th, 2007, 3:50 pm
Location: MD

Post by movieman1957 »

Frankly, much to my chagrin, I didn't even know Thelma Todd made short films. I had never heard of Patsy Kelly. I knew Zasu Pitts but not her films with Todd.

I must say it's quite a credit to Todd to have worked so successfully with two very different actors and characters. I have really enjoyed these films. I was lucky to catch a bunch of them last year on "Shorts" day when I my wife was brilliant enough to tape them for me. They are great fun.

TCM is wonderful to have brought them to us.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
User avatar
precoder
Posts: 59
Joined: May 21st, 2007, 6:54 pm
Location: Missouri

Post by precoder »

movieman, I'm glad you got to see those. I didn't know they were made either. I found them on ebay on VHS a few years back Vols 1 & 2 (about nine of them total) ...

After Thelma's tragic and mysterious death, Hal Roach tried to continue with those making a couple having Patsy teamed with Pert Kelton, but Thelma was sadly missed, so they stopped ...

Thelma always played the sophisticated uppity one, forever concerned with compromising her reputation in public, whereas Patsy only had to be herself; a moppy-headed trouble-maker. I'd love to see those on DVD someday ...
I absolutely adore movies. Even bad ones. I don't like pretentious ones, but a good bad movie, you must admit, is great. ~ Roddy McDowell
User avatar
traceyk
Posts: 294
Joined: May 25th, 2007, 11:59 am
Location: Ohio

Post by traceyk »

Garbomaniac wrote:Aha! Gottcha! Not really. I don't care for, see I can't even remember the name, that movie with Hedy and Bob. Everything I read says they didn't care much for working with each other since their styles were so different, and it shows. Also, Hedy said Bob cut the picture so badly that all of her good stuff lay on the cutting room floor in order to make it his picture. Well, that could very well be, but I still don't think Hedy could have stolen the show from Hope, but then again, she was Hedy Lamarr.

Oh, yeah, it was My Favorite Spy.


How about Hepburn and Hope in "The Iron Petticoat"? She had similar complaints--that he cut some of her best work. Be that as it may, I think she was a little bit too old for the part--the late fifties were not kind to Kate, looks-wise--too skinny and dried out looking.
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. "~~Wilde
Post Reply