Sean Lock wasn't the only funny man Spike and me went to see over the weekend. Oh no - there was also Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy and Fatty Arbuckle, to name but several. And Paul Merton, who brought these legendary-but-sadly-no-longer-with-us comics to us via his Silent Clowns tour.
I'm not sure how many of you will have been to see a classic silent film as part of a large audience watching on a big screen, with a live pianist (as opposed to a dead one) improvising a soundtrack, but it's a truly memorable experience, and one that knocks a trip to the local multiplex to watch the latest overhyped, overpriced blockbuster into a cocked hat - especially when the silent film you're watching in its entirety happens to be Harold Lloyd's Safety Last (as happens in the second half of Paul Merton's show).
Basically, it's the one where Harold risks life and limb by performing a prolonged sequence of death-defying stunts and slips whilst clinging to the side of a building when he must have been well over a hundred feet from the ground. All without the aid of a safety net or rope tied around his waist, or any sort of protection at all! He really was risking his life up there. That's what made watching it with such a big audience so exciting - you're all gasping along and reacting to these incredible sights together. (The film is available to watch in its entirety on You Tube - albeit cut up into small chunks - but trust me, you'll enjoy it much more on the big screen.)
Paul Merton's Silent Clowns tour continues until 9th December, and calls in at Bournemouth, Bradford, Buxton, Reading, Plymouth, Northampton, Leicester, Salford Quays, Liverpool, Isle of Man, Portsmouth, Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen.
In the meantime, here are some songs to suit today's theme. (sorry, but The Sound of Silence just seemed too obvious, and I couldn't find It's Oh So Quiet for looking!)
Fun Boy Three - Our Lips Are Sealed mp3
My Life Story - Funny Ha Ha mp3
XTC - Stupidly Happy mp3
(songs available for 7 days.)
Buy music and silent comedy classics here.