Looking for Mabel Normand

Madcap Mabel Normand


The reference to Mabel’s feature in 1916 is probably “Mickey” and if you remember the movie the goat by the time the filming was done has become a donkey.  It has always hit me as a bit odd that Mabel feeds the razor-strap to a donkey but of course a ‘goat’ makes sense. 

 Transcribed by

Marilyn Slater

“Looking for Mabel”

June 19, 2010



Cleveland Plain Dealer - September 3, 1916.

By Gertrude

 NOW you see me, now you don’t, sometimes I’m here and more often I’m not.  Sometimes you get my goat and maybe sometimes I get your pussy willow, but now, after many vicissitudes, including that; laborious pastime commonly known as a vacation, I return to regular appearances.  Who said, “Get the hook”?


Returned, yes, and what to! …  The tale about Mabel Normand’s goat – g-o-a-t, pronounced the same as “coat” when you have a cold in your head.

Mabel and her entire company were in a quandary recently when she received a telegram reading, “They’ve got your goat in Catalina.”  Before they had time to forget about it, another telegram arrived saying “Hughie Fay has your goat aboard ship.”  A third one reading, “They have goat at the harbor,” almost caused a riot.

Two hours later the mystery was solved by the appearance of a little brown and black kid.  It was then remembered that Mabel Normand’s first feature picture calls for a scene in which she catches a young wild goat, so Assistant General Manager Harry Kerr went to Catalina Island, famous for its wild goat hunting, and caught the real thing.



 (a gift from William M Drew)