W.C Fields (a.k.a. William Claude Dunkenfield) delighted early nineteenth century audiences with his variety comedy. Garfield Park honors this comedic legend in their Vintage Movie Night Series. This Saturday, June 18 head to Garfield Park for W.C. Fields Comedy Night featuring three of his greatest short films. Tickets to this Indianapolis event are only $3, making it the perfect family outing or cheap date night. Enjoy the comedy styling of W.C. Fields in “The Golf Specialist,” “The Fatal Glass of Beer” and “The Dentist.” Don’t miss this great program at a favorite Indianapolis park.
W.C. Fields started his career in vaudeville. Before the Internet and streaming Netflix, before television, before film and before even radio, there was vaudeville. Traveling entertainers would make their rounds to theaters across the United States, entertaining the masses one audience at a time. These live performances featured everything from ventriloquists to burlesque dancers. Fields began as a juggler, appearing as the classic “tramp” clown, with scruffy beard and shabby tux. He became famous for juggling unique object like cigar boxes, hats and others. He soon became an international star, touring several continents with his world class juggling act.
When he returned to his American homeland, Fields became a Broadway star in the infamous Ziegeld Follies revues. When film became the main form of entertainment, he made his comedy transition to the silver screen, starring in several silent films from 1915 to 1934 and even more talking pictures after their invention.
“The Golf Specialist” is a short made in 1930 by RKO Pictures. It was his first “talkie.” In it Fields plays J. Effingham Bellweather, a hotel guest who meets the flirtatious wife of the House Detective. His slapstick comedy manifests itself when he offers her golf lessons, which are continually interrupted by any number of absurd experiences.
“The Dentist” was filmed in 1932 at the Paramount studios. The twenty minute tale tells off a dentist, whose daughter wants to marry and ice-delivery man. Though he disapproves of the match, his daughter acts on her own accord. Fields locks her up, above his dental office, where he treats patients with an unconventional method.
Finally, “The Fatal Glass of Beer” is a short film released in 1933 by Paramount. A parody of rugged stage melodramas, the film features Fields crooning to a mountie about the perils of foul drink and bad companions in the big city. Fields switches keys through the song when the melody does not, resulting in comic off key effect. With purposely bad effects, the film utilizes a lot of gags that Fields would reprise in future films.
Don’t miss this exciting film event at Garfield Park near Indianapolis downtown. Before the films, enjoy dinner at any of these Indianapolis restaurants. Afterward, grab a drink and discuss Fields’ classic comedy at any of these Indianapolis bars. Stay tuned to FunCityFinder.com for all the latest on fun things to do in Indianapolis. We cover Indianapolis arts to Indianapolis sports and everything in between. Get out in Indy and find some fun! Make the most of the Circle City!
W.C. Fields Comedy Night
Saturday, June 18 at 8 pm
Garfield Park Arts Center
2505 Conservatory Drive