Does a Bear Laugh in the Woods?

on September 02, 2008 by Steve Simels

And giving thanks once again to whatever Gods created basic cable, we feel constrained to alert you that Turner Classic Movies will be showing the 1932 RKO production Hold 'Em Jail this Wednesday morning at 7:15 am (EST). Thanks, of course, may not be the most appropriate word given that it's a starring vehicle for Wheeler and Woolsey, a duo that if not the absolutely worst comedy team of all team is certainly on everybody's short list for the Top Five unfunniest. Here's a brief clip from the film to give you an idea.

Actually, given the presence of reliable slow-burn comic Edgar Kennedy, that excerpt may be a bit atypical of W&W's ouevre, in the sense that it's capable of inducing a wry smile while he's on camera. And we should also note that the film features the 15 year old Betty Grable and her legs in their first screen appearance. In any case, I find Wheeler and Woolsey perversely fascinating, in part because I am convinced that Robert Woolsey, the bespectacled half of the team, appeared in at least one of their films with his trademark round black glasses drawn on with greasepaint a la Groucho Marx's mustache. So far, though, a web search has proved unavailing in that regard; if any W&W scholars out there can confirm or deny this, I would be glad to hear from them (if not, perhaps, to shake their hands).


Tags: Hold 'Em Jail, Edgar Kennedy, Betty Grable, Robert Woolsey

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