I used this 1921 one-reel comedy to introduce myself to Eddie Boland, a rather obscure figure who was the lead comic in this short for the Hal Roach Studio before it was even called that -- was Rolin. Boland doesn't really distinguish himself as a character beyond being a middle-aged fellow in a Chaplin moustache, and I don't even say he headlined the film as he is billed under "The Vanity Fair Girls," a group of girls in light dresses who quite literally (and mostly effectively) show up in order to look pretty. It's Roach following in the tradition of his competitor's notorious Sennett Bathing Beauties.
Boland plays a slipshod plumber on roller skates who, trying to fix some pipes, blows himself into a fantasy world where he is mistaken for a prince and everything is named after food items. The title cards announcing these are a standout for their wackiness. In fact, while most of the actual gags and performances here are pretty unremarkable, the whole short gets a lot of points for the sheer bizarreness of the shot of Eddie flying away in the explosion, the kingdom itself, and the surreal effect it creates without any explanation.
There is actually a fairly amusing gag sequence as a sorcerer uses magic to frustrate all of Boland's advances on each Vanity Fair Girl, but you'll mainly want to watch this one for it's sheer unrestrained goofiness. The actual concept of the fellow suddenly reigning over a far-off kingdom was done a lot better a few years later by Harry Langdon as "Soldier Man" and Charley Chase as "Long Fliv the King."
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