Creative Essay: Physical Comedy

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The Greatest Physical Comedians

The greatest physical comedians to date are Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, The Marx Brothers, and Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), all of whom were successful in silent humor.

Charlie Chaplin and Rowan Atkinson

Charlie Chaplain was able to carve out a niche for himself because sound in movies was not commonly employed during the era in which he became well-known. Physical performers use body language and facial expressions to portray the intended humor in order to captivate the audience. Both Charlie Chaplin and Rowan Atkinson later achieved immortality. However, creating these characters is not easy as they are not able to use witty words or puns to get people to laugh. This paper will try to come up with a character that might be comedic and as monumental as the greatest physical actors.

Creating a Good Character

To create a good character, we will begin by giving him an iconic name. Rowan Atkinson's Mr. Bean was a simple and easy to remember a name. Thus, we will choose a name that will equally be easy but which also belies some of the traits that he will have. The character will, therefore, be called ‘Lord Spot,' a wealthy English Lord who inherited his title and wealth from his father at a small age. He has a more distinguished name as most Lords have, but he is known as Lord Spot by those in his employ and his mother who he lives with in their manor. I chose a Lord as they are seen as distinguished men who rarely can be identified with comic actions as they are well brought up and educated and thus are always calculated in their actions.

A Misfit Lord

However, our Lord Spot has never been able to grasp the basics of sophistication as is always in one situation or another. He is also very learned as he went to good boarding schools and also to university, but misfortunes seem always to follow him. For example on his first day back after his father's death, he dozes off on a bench that was being painted bright red polka dots. He gets roused suddenly to attend to guests that are there to welcome him, and none mentions the spots on his suits as he is acting high and mighty. They use the term Spots to address him, but he does not get what they are referring too and laughs as they laugh at his ignorance. Thus, the name Lord Spot is born at that instance, and many only know him as such. It angers him when the name addresses him, but over time he gets used to it and laughs as others laugh at him.

Appealing to All Audiences

Lord Spot is created to attract individuals from all audiences. As he does not talk, language is not a barrier but his culture is different and in some instances can confuse, however, through this confusion comedy is created. As he is relatively young, he attracts the youth and adolescents. His simplistic nature attracts children as they can understand what is happening while his sophisticated environment attracts those that are interested in the lives of English Lords. How he relates to his mother pokes fun at older generations which in turn they appreciate when they view him. Thus, his character becomes beloved to all who enjoy pure comedy which in this case is most TV lovers.

The Medium of Comedy

In this age of technology, the best mode to get the Lord Spot a larger audience is through special shows that can easily be accessed on Television and through YouTube. For Television, some of the experiences might be filtered so that younger and older audiences are not offended while for YouTube, there will be less filtering of content. This is because people have different types of comic preferences. While everybody does enjoy simple, clean comedy, some situations cannot be filtered. Sex sells, but for us, this will not be the main point when involving sexual encounters. Many adults have faced quite funny sexual encounters or dates that led to unexpected situations. We intend to capture the same with Lord Spot, thus using these mediums will achieve what is expected.

Originality and Stand-Out Characteristics

When creating our character, we mean for him to stand out, but there will always be people out to make a similar creation as Lord Spot. There also might exist a character that has been created that has the characteristics that we are aiming for. Therefore, we will need something that will ensure that our audience never gets confused. This will have to be an original aspect or accessory such as Mr. Bean's Teddy or Charlie Chaplain's shoes and walking style. Thus, the bit that will make Lord Spot stand out will not be his name only, but also his signature haircut which will constantly be disheveled and his love for his briefcase which got the spots too when he got the same on his suit earlier; but was never able to wash them out, he carries the briefcase everywhere even when not needed. While these might not be great statement characteristics, the fans of the show will get accustomed to them and will expect their favorite character always to have them with him. These accessories will also make sure that he stands out and can be picked out in any crowd. They become an extension of Lord Spot, and without them, his personality is different.

Social Awkwardness and Relatability

Lord Spot is a Lord and because of his social situation will always be trying to blend in with the sophisticated in society, where he will always fail. In other instances, he will try to blend in with ordinary people but fail too. He will always be socially awkward as he does not mesh with any of the categories of people he mingles with, even with the help of his ever dotting mother. Dating to him will be awkward, and he is constantly thrust in situations where the ladies are too quick and sophisticated and mainly want to get his money from him as he is quite trusting. However, there will be an ever elusive love interest that is his direct opposite, and witnesses his awkwardness but still is friendly to him. However, any try at a romantic gesture and relationship will always be hindered by hilarious circumstances.

Non-Verbal Communication

Even with all the situations that Lord Spot will be going through, they will all be relatable. He will not have to talk but the music score, his facial expressions, and body language will fill out where moods need emphasis.

Building on the Past

I will not claim that Lord Spot is a purely original character as most Physical Actors will have addressed some of the situations he will be going through. However, with this in mind, they will be molded to fit in with his lifestyle and those of the supporting characters. Unlike the rest who even the other cast members do not speak, in my show, some of the supporting cast will be able to speak. However, the dialogue will be minimal and will not be the primary focus. The comic strips will also be short and punchy so as not to bore viewers, by running for a maximum of fifteen minutes. Longer strips might cause people to lose interest faster.

Conclusion

Therefore with the influence of some of the greatest physical actors, I will be able to come up a character that can be iconic. It would not be possible for this acting to be if it were not for these men and women who paved the way. While we will always seek originality, we cannot avoid falling back and looking over their work as we do ours so that we can also improve our work too. Lord Spot might not be the greatest, but he can be the basis for great physical comic strips. Finding an actor who will bring out all the aspects of the character will be hard as many comics rely on words nowadays. With a great artist who understands the vision, any simple character will always turn out to be revolutionary.

March 10, 2023
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