Mabel’s Strange Predicament

Vintage Viewing: Mabel Normand, Slapstick Star in Charge

Mabel Normand: madcap maverick

Mabel Normand was once known as “The Queen of Comedy” and “The Female Chaplin.” Her name was featured in the title of her shorts as their star attraction, which she soon parlayed into creative control as director. Normand mentored Charlie Chaplin as well as Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, who went on to mentor Buster Keaton in his turn. Mabel is, therefore, a cornerstone in the development of the American slapstick auteur, but one whose role is regularly overlooked.