The Gag Reflex by David Cairns

So if I’m looking at strategies for creating comedy, Keaton is a better model, just because it doesn’t have to be him up there – he’s just the best possible choice. The other thing is that Keaton’s gags tend to be more clever and surprising than Chaplin’s. Very often they’re not as laugh-out-loud funny, but that’s because there’s an artistic pride in Keaton that he’d never admit to. He wants to make us laugh as loud as possible, but he doesn’t want to make it easy on himself. Maybe it’s the same as his compulsion to risk his neck doing physically dangerous stunts – he wants to risk his films doing jokes so surprising the audience might not even realize a joke is being attempted.

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    Buster Keaton. What a hero.
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    So if I’m looking at strategies for creating comedy, Keaton is a better model, just because it doesn’t have to be him up...
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