.....speaking of Musty Suffer.......

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.....speaking of Musty Suffer.......

Postby Louie Despres » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:42 pm

for some reason I came across this image while looking through a CD-r of photos I saved a while back. Srry, if I stole it from somebody who posts here, but I seriously have no idea where it was from:

Image
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Re: .....speaking of Musty Suffer.......

Postby Eric Stott » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:18 am

Oh Dear God- I've only seen Musty Suffer when they showed some on PBS to fill out "Flickers" on Masterpiece Theater.

That face makes Larry Semon look good.
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Re: .....speaking of Musty Suffer.......

Postby Eric Stott » Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:20 pm

Revisiting this, I saw Watson in a talking short recently (possibly his only one) and he came across very well- excellent voice and beautiful timing.
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Re: .....speaking of Musty Suffer.......

Postby Richard M Roberts » Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:12 am

Thats a nice glass slide and we used it to illustrate one of the Musty Suffer films we showed at Slapsticon several years ago. I've seen it cirsulate several places on the net.

I saw that they were showing a Pathe short at Capitolfest with Harry Watson in it, but Eric, was it indeed Harry Watson Jr (who played Musty Suffer) or Harry Watson SR. ?

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Re: .....speaking of Musty Suffer.......

Postby Eric Stott » Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:41 am

Richard M Roberts wrote:
I saw that they were showing a Pathe short at Capitolfest with Harry Watson in it, but Eric, was it indeed Harry Watson Jr (who played Musty Suffer) or Harry Watson SR. ?

RICHARD M ROBERTS



James Cozart introduced the short and according to him this is indeed Watson Jr, who was then being billed as Harry B. Watson.

It's a shame he was killed not long after he made his few sound shorts- on the evidence of this one he'd have had a strong career in talkies.
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Re: .....speaking of Musty Suffer.......

Postby Richard M Roberts » Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:00 am

Eric Stott wrote:
Richard M Roberts wrote:
I saw that they were showing a Pathe short at Capitolfest with Harry Watson in it, but Eric, was it indeed Harry Watson Jr (who played Musty Suffer) or Harry Watson SR. ?

RICHARD M ROBERTS



James Cozart introduced the short and according to him this is indeed Watson Jr, who was then being billed as Harry B. Watson.

It's a shame he was killed not long after he made his few sound shorts- on the evidence of this one he'd have had a strong career in talkies.



Well, apparently Harry Watson Jr didn't die in 1930. Steve Massa discovered snapshots of an elderly Watson Jr that were taken in the late 1950's at the New York Public Library (this was discussed in an earlier thread). It is apparently the Senior Watson who died in 1930, and this is why there is confusion as to who is starring in those Pathe talkie shorts.

I'm sure Steve can chime in on this further later in the day.


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Re: .....speaking of Musty Suffer.......

Postby Eric Stott » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:16 am

Well, what ever and whom ever, it was quite an entertaining short- essentially a filmed stage act but a good one that ended with a (literal) drum beating flourish
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Re: .....speaking of Musty Suffer.......

Postby Steve Massa » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:28 pm

Hello guys
We have a very large clipping file on Harry Watson Jr. at NYPL's Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Lots of photos too, and separate files on his stage partner George Bickel. Going through Watson's clippings I've found evidence of what looks like three different Harry Watsons, all dumped together in the Harry Watson Jr. file.

The first is Harry Watson Jr. star of the Musty Suffers series, partner of George Bickel, headliner in many editions of the Ziegfeld Follies, later character player in Marion Davies features such as LITTLE OLD NEW YORK ('23) and ZANDER THE GREAT ('25). 99% of the clippings are his.

The second is just plain Harry Watson. Two or three clippings from the teens refer to him as a theatre old-timer. A Pittsburgh Post item from 2/10/1910 says:
"Harry Watson, in the Gayety this week, in the specialty of Watson, Hutchings and Edwards, in "Schmultz's Night Out," is now in his fifty-first year before the footlights, and has seen, in his day, the rise and fall of many theatrical lines."
There are also two photos of him, one in his character of Schmultz, and another a formal pose out of character. There's a very slight resemblence to Watson Jr. in the formal photo which leads me to think he could be Watson Jr.'s father. There's no mention in any clippings for either about a father-son connection, but the Harry Watson Jr. billing had to come from somewhere.

The third is a Harry B. Watson who's headlining in 1919 with a vaudeville act entitled "RUBEVILLE." A Toldeo Times review from 5/20/1919 says:
"Watson began his stage career just 30 years ago at the tender age of nine, in the old melodrama, "Lights o' London," but early in his career he showed an inclination towards comedy, which bent he has been following for the last score of years."
This is the Harry B. Watson that I believe turns up in these early talkie shorts for Pathe as two of the titles are RUBEVILLE ('29) and RUBEVILLE NIGHT CLUB ('30). I also suspect he's the one who passed away in 1930, and Variety mixed Harry Watson Jr. into the obit.

Our Musty Harry Watson Jr. seems to have dropped out of showbusiness in the mid 1920s after appearing in the Marion Davies film ZANDER THE GREAT ('25) and the 1925-1926 Broadway musical TIP-TOES. In the NYPL collection I found four color snapshots of him (nobody else looks quite like that) dated 1953, that have an elderly Musty mugging for the camera. I'd like to post a couple of them here, but don't know how to do the photos. I'll send them along to Richard and maybe he can put them up.
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