Frank Capra in MACK & MABEL
Posted by: reed23 06:41 pm EST 02/19/24
In reply to: re: MACK AND MABEL Full Production in Los Angeles - JereNYC 11:50 am EST 02/19/24

There was a character named "Frank," the newsboy-turned-head-writer, in the original production. He was played by Jerry Dodge, reunited with Herman, Stewart, Champion, and Merrick after having originated "Barnaby Tucker" in HELLO, DOLLY! ten years earlier (and played in GEORGE M!, written by Michael Stewart and his sister Francine Pascal, now the MACK & MABEL revision playwright.) Dodge died tragically a few weeks into the run of MACK & MABEL of what the NY Times cryptically called "chemical poisoning."

Francine Pascal added the idea that "Frank" would become Frank Capra later in his career; it did indeed play fast and loose with real life (as did most of the show), but Wikipedia tells us:

"Capra later became a gag writer for Hal Roach's Our Gang series. He was twice hired as a writer for a slapstick comedy director, Mack Sennett, in 1918 and 1924. Under him, Capra wrote scripts for comedian Harry Langdon and produced by Mack Sennett, the first being Plain Clothes in 1925. According to Capra, it was he who invented Langdon's character, the innocent fool living in a "naughty world"; however, Langdon was well into this character by 1925."
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