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What a Bozo! (1931)

A bandleader ignores a pretty dancer who fancies him in order to chase after a beautiful, snooty high-society dame.


James Parrott


H.M. Walker (dialogue)




Cast overview:
Charley Chase ... Charley Chase
Gay Seabrook Gay Seabrook ... Gay, the Bozo
Elizabeth Forrester Elizabeth Forrester ... Elizabeth Van Forrester


A bandleader ignores a pretty dancer who fancies him in order to chase after a beautiful, snooty high-society dame.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short


Did You Know?


The Stars and Stripes Forever
Music by John Philip Sousa
Performed at the musicale by Charley Chase and ensemble
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User Reviews

Far from Charley's best
8 December 2007 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

In the silent and early sound era, Charley Chase (in reality, 'Charles Parrott') was en exceptionally busy comedian and director--having made about 300 shorts. Despite his very prolific body of work, few today know who he was--partly because his films are rarely seen on TV (aside from a few on Turner Classic Movies lately) and because his films were wildly inconsistent--particularly the sound ones. Sometimes, they rivaled Laurel and Hardy's in quality and other times they are just dreadful (such as SOMETHING SIMPLE or THUNDERING TENORS). While WHAT A BOZO is not one of the dreadful ones, it isn't a whole lot better--offering only a few laughs.

Charley plays a band leader who takes a young lady for granted. It's obvious that she loves him but dumb Charley has his sights set impossibly high on a snooty society dame. During Charley's hopeless quest to catch the rich lady, the other does her best to make Charley look like some kind of nut. Unfortunately, most of this just isn't very funny.

In addition, watching young Black kids singing "Old Black Joe" in one scene is probably something I didn't need to see (it in no way enhanced the film). While I am far from politically correct and hate this form of censorship, I could definitely understand and respect people who would find this scene objectionable or in poor taste.

Not a great film by any standard and understandably one of Charley's poorest efforts that I've yet seen. I have seen about fifty of his films and this is close to as many as now exist--as many as 200 have simply disintegrated due to the passage of time and its effect on nitrate film.

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Release Date:

7 November 1931 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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