Keystone Cops  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Keystone Cops was a series of silent film comedies featuring a totally incompetent group of policemen produced by Mack Sennett for his Keystone Film Company between 1912 and 1917. The idea came from Hank Mann, who also played police chief Tehiezel in the first film before being replaced by Ford Sterling. Their first film was Hoffmeyer's Legacy (1912) but their popularity stemmed from the 1913 short The Bangville Police starring Mabel Normand.

As early as 1914 Sennett shifted the Cops from starring roles to background ensemble, in support of comedians like Charlie Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle. The Cops serve as supporting players for Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand, and Chaplin in the first full-length Sennett comedy feature, Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914), as well as in Mabel's New Hero (1913) with Normand and Arbuckle, Making a Living (1914) with Chaplin, In the Clutches of the Gang (1914) with Normand, Arbuckle, and Al St. John, and Wished on Mabel (1915) with Arbuckle and Normand, among others.

Mack Sennett's Keystone film studio always used the spelling "Cops" whenever publicizing their films,Template:Fact never "Kops", as some more recent secondary sources have rendered the name. No contemporary citation of the "Kop" spelling has ever surfaced, whereas film historian Kalton C. Lahue and others have found many documents issued by the Keystone studio Template:Fact which retain the spelling "Cop". Universal Pictures changed the spelling to "Kops" in 1955 for the feature Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops-which starred Mack Sennett in a cameo role.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Keystone Cops" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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