Bobby Clark and Paul McCullough were a popular vaudeville team in the 1920s. They also made a string of shorts for RKO but their team came to an abrupt end when McCullough killed himself--in a particularly bloody and violent manner. Clark didn't make any films after this and the team pretty much disappeared from the history of Hollywood. In fact, it's very difficult to find any of their films--and after seeing "The Gay Nighties" I might have some idea why--it just wasn't a very good film. Perhaps their others were better...but their style seems pretty dated today.
The film begins with Clark (with his trademark painted on glasses) and McCullough working for a political campaign. However, this seems to be only a very broad idea for a plot--as mostly it consisted of the pair cavorting about and acting....well...stupid---sort of like a poor man's Wheeler & Woolsey. None of it's all that funny, though some is a bit risqué--with Clark trying, in vain, to get a sexy sleepwalker in a nightie to hop into bed with him. Frankly, had McCullough not killed himself in 1936, the implementation of the strengthened Production Code would have either killed their film career sooner or later or changed it drastically, as sexual innuendo and the like were forbidden as of mid-1934. Overall, a strange little film but one only die-hard film comedy buffs would care to watch.
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