A Visit from Houdini

In 1919 Harry Houdini was a motion picture actor living in California. It was an interesting phase in his career that honestly always surprises me. His motion picture endeavors ended up fizzling out after a few years, but during that time he payed visits to several studios, and one of them was Roscoe Arbuckle’s.

To my disappointment there isn’t much about Houdini and Buster’s interaction at this meeting, but I would like to assume from stories of their sharing the bill in vaudeville days that it would’ve been a happy reunion. As a whole, it sounds like the group had a lot of fun.

Edmonton Journal, September 6, 1919

There’s obviously a lot about this article that sounds untrue, and it’s likely just publicity. but I can easily imagine Buster breadstick dueling while hanging from his toes. Anyway, it seems to have been one of his favorite ways to approach trees…

Roscoe hangs Buster up to dry in Moonshine, 1918

And over ten years later he’s still at it:

What do you think of the article? Absolutely true? Absolutely fabricated? Anyone have any more information about Harry and Bess’s time in California and whether they spent any of it with the Keatons? Love to hear it!

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