Opening Day Starter by matthew c. hoffman

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An Opening Day starter has been named, and it will be the Englishman, Charles Spencer Chaplin. I’m handing him the ball when my “Legends of Laughter” film series kicks off in March 2011 at the Park Ridge Public Library. Since I’m using a sports analogy here, it would certainly make sense to imagine Harold Lloyd rushing to get his football helmet in The Freshman, or Buster Keaton coming to the plate in College. However, silent comedy truly began with Chaplin, and to slight his impact on the art form would be irresponsible. Besides, I’m ending my 3-month series with the great Keaton. And as for Lloyd, he gets the only screening we will have at the landmark Pickwick Theatre in the middle of the program. So though it begins with Keaton and Lloyd on the bench, all three comedians in the three-man rotation are treated with equal respect for their unique achievements.

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