General English


  • Originally, the name of the divided paddle used by Harlequinto strike other performers with a resounding slap or crack but withoutinjury. The term later came to encompass all boisterous comedy involvingknockabout action and horseplay. Modern stage practitioners have includedthe Crazy Gang in Britain and Olsen and Johnsonin America. The slapstick tradition was continued in the cinema byCharlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges,and Abbott and Costello and on television by Benny Hill amongst others.