The Art of Slapstick: SLAPCON

Learn the art of pratfalls, knocks, trips, and other clownly stunts.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Monday, Aug 19, 2013  |  Updated 6:32 PM PDT
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The Art of Slapstick: SLAPCON

Brian C. Janes

SLAPCON, a full-on two-day gathering devoted to the finer points of slapstick, tumbles into Los Angeles on Wednesday, Sept. 11 and Thursday, Sept. 12. (photo: Brian C. Janes)

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Slapstick is nearly synonymous in many a mind with The Three Stooges or some of the early silent film clowns, and understandably so. Larry, Moe, and Curly, plus those actors who made pokes in the eye an art form back in the early days of film, brought broad physical comedy to a very broad audience.

But pokes in the eye and trips and pratfalls have been around since the invention of stages, comedians, and banana peels. And it is a form that is still vibrant, and rightly ridiculous, and honed by practitioners of a good ol' pie on the face.

Those practitioners will be giving each other the what-for and the why-I-oughta this September at SLAPCON, a two-day gathering devoted to the art and method of slapstickery. Set to roll -- perhaps literally -- on Wednesday, Sept. 11. and Thursday, Sept. 12, SLAPCON is all about up-in-your-face, mano-y-mano comedy.

It's an "international gathering of slapstick enthusiasts," so count on going toe-to-toe (and elbow-to-elbow and nose-to-nose) with clowns from points well beyond California.

Should we mention again that slapstick is highly physical? There shall be flipping, tripping, and any other tumble that involves someone sticking their foot in front of someone else.

The location will be shared when the final student count is in. But, if interested, sign up now.  It's a hundred bucks, and that's real money, not funny money. Keep the slapstick in the school, right?

We only hope that the teachers show what the appropriate move is to accompany "woo woo woo nyuk nyuk nyuk." Because that just seems like Slapstick 101 to us.

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