Wednesday, February 25, 2009

ALAN "TWEEDY" DIGWEED: Mr. Gravity and the Ladder

What a difference a decade makes. I worked on the same show, same unit, 10 years ago but don't remember the kids ever "narrating" the gags the way the kids do in this clip. I think that it's the influence of Bill Irwin's Mr. Noodle segments on Sesame Street.

I once attended a screening of Buster Keaton shorts at the New Victory Theater in NY with live accompaniment by Blue Grassy Knoll. The musicians instructed the kids to actively participate by booing the villian and cheering Buster. As soon as "One Week" started a little girl of three or four just across the aisle started to talk to the screen telling Buster "No, no! That's not the way to do it! Turn it around!"

Her father was mortified and begged her to please be quiet. He didn't realize that she saw Buster the same way that she saw Mr. Noodle, as a grown up who was having trouble doing simple things and desperately needed her assistance and advice.

Sitting directly behind me, Bill Irwin.

Having sat and now watched half of Buster's early shorts with Shane (who finds Buster hysterical) I am convinced that there is an amazing educational television show that could be created from silent physical comedy with kids talking back to the screen and reading the title cards.


Mr. Pitts said...

Patrick, that's how I got my kids to like silent movies. I narrated them like that and they found it hilarious. I think there's almost a need to do that to bridge the comedy gap. Silent films are a pretty alien artform to a little kid. Bill Irwin (and Michael Jeter and Kristin Chenowith) have managed to make the art accessible to today's kids.

Anonymous said...

A show? Count me in!

I like the way you're thinking with this, Mr. C.