smick-smack girls!

by Megan Abbott

The current selection for the book club of which I am a proud member is film pioneer Mack Sennett‘s memoir, King of Comedy: The Lively Arts, cowritten with Cameron Shipp and published back in 1953. 

I’m only a few chapters in (it’s still the 19-teens), but it is already a treasure trove of early 20th century arcanea, lost slang and bon mots.  One of my favorite phrases: a passing reference to the ” smick-smack girls with gleaming legs” on the burlesque stage.

I’ve never been one of those bubble bath type of gals, but now I’m second-guessing myself. Sennett, a reflective fellow as well as bon vivant, notes at what point expounds on the motivational and personal power of a good soak in the tub: “I don’t see how a man who can lounge around in a tiled bathroom could ever become a communist.”

4 Comments to “smick-smack girls!”

  1. Tell me how I can become a member of this book club. Please.

  2. Not for nothing, but the title of Chapter 20 is “Murder” …!!!

  3. Vince, the only requirement: a zest for life, natch!

  4. Oh wowzers — I might have to ebay it up and get me a copy of this.

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