Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Bit of Joe E. Brown for His Birthday

Today Joe E. Brown is probably best known for his role as millionaire Osgood Fielding III in Some Like It Hot (1959). That having been said, by the time of his appearance in that classic, he had already had a long career. Starting out as a tumbler, he had performed in circuses and on Vaudeville since he was nine years old. Over time he incorporated comedy into his act, until eventually he was a comedian rather than a tumbler. As a comedian he proved very successful.

Of course, seeing success as a comic naturally meant Hollywood would come knocking on his door, and he made his film debut in the short "Twinkle, Twinkle" in 1927. With the drama Crooks Can't Win in 1928 he made his feature film debut. It was with the comedy Hit of the Show that Joe E. Brown received his first leading role. While only classic film buffs might remember his movies today, Joe E. Brown was one of the most popular comic actors of the Thirties and Forties. Films such as The Tenderfoot (1932),  Alibi Ike (1935), Earthworm Tractors (1936), and The Gladiator (1938) proved very successful at the box office.

In tribute to Mr. Brown on his birthday, here are a few of his appearances. The first is the "Little Mousie" routine from Bright Lights (1935).


Next up is Joe E. Brown and Jackie Robinson in a segment from the show I've Got a Secret. Messrs. Brown and Robinson had something in common: they were both professional baseball players at one time or another!

And last, here is Joe E. Brown's musical routine, "I Faw Down, Go Boom".

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