A sketch of human foibles that lead to major aggravations. Pete Smith's 'Mr. Fall Guy' Dave O'Brien has problems while attempting to park his car on a city street; he bumps cars in front of... See full summary »
A sketch of human foibles that lead to major aggravations. Pete Smith's 'Mr. Fall Guy' Dave O'Brien has problems while attempting to park his car on a city street; he bumps cars in front of and behind him, or is space-hogging two parking places. At home, he decides to construct a patio in his back yard, and various objects and people, including himself, manage to makes a mess of his wet cement. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Pete Smith made a specialty out of, what else?, "Pete Smith Specialties," nearly copping the coveted Academy Award for one of his one-reel (about ten minutes) shorts, "Movie Pests," nominated in 1944. He delighted audiences for over twenty years with these short gems dealing chiefly with everyday problems and pet peeves of all kinds. In the post-World War II period, Pete found an everyman-type soul to star in many of these one-reelers, former B cowboy Dave O'Brien. O'Brien also directed the latter day "Pete Smith Specialties" including this one, "Ain't It Aggravatin'," which he helped write.
One reason for Pete Smith's popularity was his mesmerizing manner of narration. His voice wasn't much, very nasal, but his style and method of phrasing were unique and much copied by others, including the Disney studios who used a similar method for a series of cartoons featuring Goofy.
"Ain't It Aggravatin'" begins with aggravations involving parking a car. The first scene shows a method later used in the popular TV sitcom "Seinfeld" by Kramer when he parked, bumping the cars in front and back. Other aggravations are emphasized, ending with a long comedy routine involving brother Dave attempting to lay cement in back of his garage. Slapstick was the main comedic mode in the "Pete Smith Specialties" and "Ain't It Aggravatin'" is no exception. Dave could take a pratfall with the best of them. He had begun his Hollywood career as a stuntman; so he was no novice at the art.
Not as timeless as the humor of the Laurel and Hardy shorts or even that of The Three Stooges, the Pete Smith one-reelers were fun most of the time. "Ain't It Aggravatin'" is a good place to start, illustrating well the last years of the movie shorts as TV sitcoms began to take their place. It also shows the viewer Dave O'Brien at his best. If this one pleases you, take a look at some of the others, including the first "Pete Smith Specialties" from the early 30's.
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