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A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s Open Access publishing program. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more.
 
Hokum! is the first book to take a comprehensive view of short-subject slapstick comedy in the early sound era. Challenging the received wisdom that sound destroyed the slapstick tradition, author Rob King explores the slapstick short’s Depression-era development against a backdrop of changes in film industry practice, comedic tastes, and moviegoing culture. Each chapter is grounded in case studies of comedians and comic teams, including the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, and Robert Benchley. The book also examines how the past legacy of silent-era slapstick was subsequently reimagined as part of a nostalgic mythology of Hollywood’s youth.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Publisher
  2. p. a
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  1. Publisher acknowledgements
  2. p. b
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  1. Half Title
  2. pp. i-ii
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  1. Title Page
  2. p. iii
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  1. Copyright
  2. p. iv
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  1. Dedication
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Illustrations and Audiovisual Media
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xiv-17
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  1. PART I. CONTEXTS
  2. pp. 18-19
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  1. 1.  “The Cuckoo School”: Humor and Metropolitan Culture in 1920s America
  2. pp. 20-54
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  1. 2. “The Stigma of Slapstick”: The Short-Subject Industry and Its Imagined Public
  2. pp. 55-91
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  1. PART II. CASE HISTORIES
  2. pp. 92-94
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  1. 3.  “The Spice of the Program”: Educational Pictures and the Small-Town Audience
  2. pp. 95-124
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  1. 4. “I Want Music Everywhere”: Music, Operetta, and Cultural Hierarchy at the Hal Roach Studios
  2. pp. 125-156
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  1. 5.  “From the Archives of Keystone Memory”: Slapstick and Re-membrance at Columbia Pictures’ Short-Subjects Department
  2. pp. 157-190
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  1. Coda: When Comedy Was King
  2. pp. 191-200
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  1. List of Abbreviations
  2. p. 201
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 202-244
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 245-254
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