Looking for Mabel Normand

Madcap Mabel Normand


They Will Not Remain In Comedy

Film Fun, May 1916


A happy little creature, with the cunningest poke bonnet you ever saw framing her piquant face, opened her bid dark eyes to their widest extent and made the announcement she had left Keystone comedies.


The poke bonnet was decorated with a bit of blue ribbon and a rose set here and there about the crown and was a pretty creation. But not any prettier than the face it surrounded. And not half as startling as her announcement.


You've seen the picture on the other side of the page,[1] so you know right well that we are talking about Mabel Normand. Yes, sir, Mabel has deserted the ranks of the comediennes. Walked right out on us.


It isn't that she likes comedy less, but that she liked drama more. It does seem a shame that as soon as we have discov­ered a gay little comedienne that can turn out fun on the film just exactly to suit us, she should get the drama bee in her pretty poke bonnet and begin to study the methods of Duse and Bernhardt.


Still, Miss Normand insists that she has not deserted the comedy field. She points out that she has always wanted to do more serious work -- in comedy-drama, for instance. She wants to be a trifle more serious and dignified than they have allowed her to be in the Keystone comedies. She says comedy does not alto­gether consist of falling downstairs and throwing custard pies, and she believes that she can be just as funny in more dignified situations.


The point is that Mabel Normand is tired of slapstick. She feels that she is capable of better things. Her directors think so, too, for she has a special director now, who is selecting plays for her. Her ability in drama was spotted a long time ago, but she was so popular as a Keystone comedienne that they were anxious to keep her as long as they could.


But Miss Normand got as far as New York and milled around some with the bunch, and then kicked right over the traces. She landed right in the spotlight as a star in her own right, and if  her director is to be believed, this piquant little comedienne is going to be a scream.