In 1917, Buster Keaton stepped in molasses. The world will never be the same.
You may know Buster Keaton from The General or as the even stonier alternative to Charlie Chaplin in the silent comedy era. Hell, maybe you know him as the time traveler in the The Twilight Zone episode “Once Upon a Time.” What you might not know is that Keaton started his film career in a Fatty Arbuckle short film called The Butcher Boy.
This was an Arbuckle joint through and through, with Keaton appearing as an instigating character. Yet Keaton made such an impression upon the actor that he extended his mentorship to the young vaudevillian.
This video provides a bit of a history lesson into Keaton’s life, his style, the short film itself, and the evolution of cinematic comedy that can all be traced back to this brief bit of slapstick.