Make ‘Em Laugh: A History of Movie Comedy from Charlie Chaplin to Mel Brooks presented by Brian Rose live on Zoom
Thursday, September 17th at 7:00 pm. Since the beginning of motion pictures, making audiences laugh has been one of the film industry’s chief box office attractions. Skilled acrobatic comedians like Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and Charlie Chaplin were enormously popular in the silent era, as were their more verbally dexterous talking picture successors the Marx Brothers and W.C. Fields. Comedy exploded once movies could talk, from screwball to romance to social satire to musicals, and in recent decades dozens of new variations have appeared from over-the-top dark comedy to gross-out teen comedy. This survey will look at the major highlights of screen comedy over the last 125 years, illustrated with more than 40 examples from Hollywood’s funniest films.
Brian Rose is a Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham
University’s College at Lincoln Center, where he has taught since 1982. He’s written several books on television history and cultural programming, and conducted more than a hundred Q&A’s with leading directors, actors, and writers for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Screen Actors Guild, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Directors Guild of America.