Slapstick comedy is one of the oldest forms of physical comedy. Named for a prop used in Comedia dell’Arte performances, slapstick originated in the 16th century. A slapstick was 2 thin pieces of wood with space in between and when a person or object was hit by it, the stick would make a loud noise without any harm to the person.
The slapstick that most people know today comes from the 1920s and 1930s movies starring the names of Mabel Normand, Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, and Ben Turpin. This brand of slapstick is filled with Pratt falls, pies in the face, and exaggerated situations that are used for humors sake. Early cinema did not use sound so it relied on visual comedic effects to inspire laughs.
Take a look at some famous Slapstick moments!
For even more information on iconic Slapstick, check out these links!