Most Hollywood historians don't realize that these 2 comedy titans were a team for a short while in the early 30's.
The Great Jimmy Durante was at the apex of his Broadway musical career when he was seduced by the big studios to get into "The Pictures".
Buster Keaton was nearing the nadir of his groundbreaking tenure as one of the few giants of the Silent Film Era to actually give Charlie Chaplin a run for his money. His brilliant physical comedy career was actually hurt a bit by the advent of the "talkies"...(I personally love his voice; as you can hear in this clip, he had a deep, melancholy vocal tone with a midwestern drawl that made him quite endearing.)
Both men were rather short, and Durante, who was about an inch taller, often squated and slouched so he could look up to his partners, including the shorter Keaton.
One can speculate why their comedy pairing didn't last. I think it's a marvelous pairing of 2 of the most disctinctive personalities in the history of Show Business! Their contrasting energy levels exude robust chemistry and delight us with their timeless interaction.
what, no beer?/with jimmy durante and buster keaton (1933)
Jimmy, the raspy voiced bundle of chaotic energy who's always trying to get things done, and Buster, the shy, pensive nebbish who longs for love... It works!
And just look at that peripheral detail from the 1930's! This timely slice of Americana occured just after the voting out of the age of Prohibition, which forbade the legal sale of alcohol in the US for over 10 years.
You can feel the crackling spirit of "Happy Days are Here Again" as America was once again a Beer swiling Nation.
After all, that's what we do best in this country; Celebrate, right?!
And who better to have a few beers with than the Sultan of Sadness and The Earl of Ebullience!
copyright MISTER ESOTERIC