Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Larry Semon Cartoonist

I've mentioned silent film comedian Larry Semon before, when I shared an advertisement showing the Evening Standard cartoon staff circa 1916.

Semon would leave the cartooning life to become a silent film comedian. For a short time, Semon, who had been a ho-hum cartoonist (I believe TAD Dorgan said he was no good), became a famous star with hit comedies. And big money and the partying lifestyle.

But, Semon had a "breakdown" and didn't of movies for 2 years, and never again achieved the level of fame when he returned to making pictures. A matter of fact, he's pretty much forgotten in both of those fields -- cartooning and movies.

Allan Holtz at his Stripper's Guide blog shares with us one of Semon's comic strips, as well as links to his bio online.

Claudia Sassen has a pop-up filled but wonderful site on Semon here.

You can see a bad print of a lackluster short THE CLOUDHOPPER (1925) that he made a few years before he died here. This was one of a couple of films that Semon teamed with Norman Taurog, who would, six years after CLOUDHOPPER, direct one of the most successful films of 1931: SKIPPY, based on Percy Crosby's comic strip. Taurog won the Best Director Oscar for the movie, and would go on to a very busy career.

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