• Short Summary

    Fantastic compilation of "turns" - comedians, impersonators, singers etc. c. 1933

  • Description

    Reel 5.

    i) The boss seen in the turn above tells the woman to start the car up. She asks if her bonnet is on straight. The boss takes it off for her (the car bonnet that is!) She can't remember how to start the car. She talks about the fact that her dog may have started the car for her then asks why they don't push the car as "it's by far the quickest way of getting her about." Boss looks under the bonnet. Joke revolving around whether the car has been overhauled lately - she misunderstands and thinks he is talking about the friend she is due to meet and says: "Oh yes, she's been laid up for three weeks." The boss suggests that her big end is gone, "Good heavens, how can you tell without seeing her?" asks the woman. Reginald Gardner (or Gardiner) runs out saying: "Step on it, they're open!" and the two men run off to the pub. The woman "steps on it" the car reverses and there is another explosion under the bonnet.

    ii) 01:01:20 Notice across two closed doors reads: "Stanelli & Edgar". Doors open. In a lovely art deco set Stanelli plays the piano. Edgar comes down the stairs and a bit of banter ensues. "We will now try and play these ghastly looking things for you" says Stanelli and they proceed to play violins. Stanelli splits his bow so that the strings go over the top and the wooden part underneath the body of the violin. Stanelli starts some comedy singing in the middle of the song but Edgar nudges him with an elbow and he stops. Stanelli makes a joke about his partner being a fish. He then plays his violin as if it is a ukulele. Edgar accompanies him. Quite a funny little turn! Claude Hulbert and Gus McNaughton attempt to play violins. Stanelli and Edgar joke about boy scouts and girl guides. Stanelli hits Edgar over the head with a flower. They then do an imitation of an "Aberdonian Saxophone" - bagpipes presumably. They play a Scottish reel.

    iii) 01:04:38 Radio announcer introduces the Houston Sisters (Billie and Renee Houston). From his patter it seems that they usually play the bagpipes - or are Scottish at least. For this turn one of the sisters sings and the other plays the ukulele. Camera pans up from a C/U of their feet and legs to reveal them sitting on the sofa, one dressed as a man, the other very cute in a short skirt showing off her legs. The sister dressed as a man speaks in a very low voice. They discuss what they need to do to please the public. There may be some veiled jokes about homosexuality and lesbianism in this routine. For example when the mannish sister says that she is going to become a ventriloquist, the girlie sister says: "You're not one of those are you?" to which the other replies: "What do you mean?" The manly sister calls the other "Darling" The feminine sister accuses the other of being "full of affectation lately...fiddling with your tie" etc. The girlie sister suggests that she be the ventriloquist's dummy so she pulls up her skirts and sits on her sister's lap. She sings a song as if a ventriloquists doll. Pretty funny! The ventriloquist sister pulls the others skirt down to make her look more respectable. They do a little dance together, holding each other by the hands and around the waist. Claude Hulbert and Gus McNaughton take notes on the act, particularly on the joke about religion where ventriloquism was confused with Presbyterianism. They get the jokes a bit wrong.

    iv) 01:09:30 Leonard Henry is the next act. We see him in the bath, he is singing a song and cleaning various bits of his anatomy. He speaks into the shower nozzle as if it is a telephone: "Hello, is that the police station, all right I'll come clean." He takes a jar of bath salts off the shelf and starts eating them. Then he tucks into a loofah. He sings a song about Epsom salts - joke revolving around the fact he has eaten the bath salts. More gags and funny business. He puts on a very odd dressing gown with a large bow at the top. He stands by the sink and looks into a distorting mirror. He has a shave.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:00:03:00 / 01:12:29:00

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