I had forgotten all about Robert Youngson.
Youngson was a fellow who was a fan of silent comedy. More than that, he put together retrospectives of these movies, which were quite popular at 20th Century Fox.
Here's Mel Neuhaus:
"Robert Youngson, for those unfamiliar with the name, was a silent-movie aficionado who turned his love of early cinema into a career. Producing/assembling a series of successful shorts at Warner Bros. (Magic Movie Moments, This was Yesterday, When the Talkies Were Young), he eventually graduated to features in 1957 with the release of his slapstick compilation The Golden Age of Comedy. The feature, distributed by 20th Century-Fox, surprisingly (or maybe not, considering the wide appeal Laurel & Hardy, costars in the picture, were then having on TV) made several Year End Ten Best lists. More importantly, industry-wise, the movie made a tidy profit, guaranteeing a further excursion into pre-talker laff-riot."
The Sprocket Vault has restored Robert Youngson's second feature, WHEN COMEDY WAS KING, a 1960 movie that runs 81 minutes and has all of the greats in it: Laurel and Hardy, Chaplin, the Keystone Cops and others. It's a perfect, fast-paced primer to these golden age movie comedians.
When I was a kid, I specifically recall seeing one of these movies in a real movie theatre in Iowa City, IA. I loved it and I remember laughing. It told me a lot about who these people were, but more than that, it made me laugh out loud. And I was doing it all again now, looking at the preview below for the new restored WHEN COMEDY WAS KING DVD.
So, thanks to my Dad for taking me to the movies in Iowa City and thanks to Sprocket for reminding me of these great Robert Youngson movies!