Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Chaplin & Buster Keaton outside the Balboa Studios, 1918

From Buster Keaton: Cut To The Chase by Marion Meade

I originally posted the top photo last year as a photo of CC and Buster Keaton but now that a clearer version of the photo has come to light (below), it seems this may not be Chaplin after all.

I think there is definitely a slight resemblance but taking a closer look I don't think it's him. Charlie had a longer nose and different hairline (I should have noticed that in the top photo). The folks over at the Buster's Boosters Facebook page seem to think the man with Buster is Paul Conlon. After seeing a photo of him I think they are right.


  1. I wonder what it was like to be around the two of them especially when they were both in their heyday. Was it stiff? Was it fun? Was it just two geniuses exchanging ideas?

  2. Is there any solid documentation of the two of them actually spending time together in the teens or early twenties?

    1. In an article Keaton wrote in the early 1950s he claimed to have know Chaplin since 1912 (he saw him perform with the Fred Karno Co). In his autobiography he mentions having a beer in his kitchen with CC in 1920 and Charlie talking about communism. He also writes that Chaplin advised him against signing his contract with MGM (I think this was the later '20s). Of course, there are the famous photos at the Balboa Studio in c.1918.
      There is also the film SEEING STARS (1922) which shows Chaplin and other stars at a table and Buster is pretending to wait tables.
      These are the only instances that come to mind. Of course, they surely spent more time together than just these documented occasions.

    2. Um - ever hear of Limelight??

    3. Hi, Anon.
      The question referred to the teens and twenties. As I'm sure you know, "Limelight" was 1952.

  3. Certainly not Chaplin. No spats! :)