CHAIN OF FOOLS: SILENT COMEDY AND ITS LEGACIES, FROM NICKELODEONS TO YOUTUBE (paperback)
Chain of Fools traces the art of slapstick comedy from its pre-cinema origins in the ancient pantomime through its silent movie heyday in the teens and twenties, then on to talkies, television, and the internet. Author Trav S.D. mixes a wicked wit, a scholar’s curiosity, and a keen critical appreciation for laugh-makers through the ages, from classical clowns like Joseph Grimaldi to comedy kings like Mack Sennett, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton…to more recent figures, from Red Skelton, Sid Caesar and Ernie Kovacs to Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey and Steve Carell…all the way down to the teenagers on YouTube whose backyard antics bring us full circle to slapstick’s beginnings. This valentine to the great clowns contains enough insights and surprises to open the eyes of even life-long comedy fans.
About the Author: Writer and performer Trav S.D. is best known for his 2005 book No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous. He has contributed to the New York Times, American Theater, the Village Voice, Time Out New York, The New York Sun, Reason, and many other publications. A frequent radio guest and public speaker, his voice has been heard throughout the country. Since 2008, he has also written the popular arts and culture blog Travalanche (travsd.wordpress.com), and the “Downtown Theatre” column in The Villager, Downtown Express, and three other New York papers. He majored in Film and Television Production and Cinema Studies at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.