Charlie Chaplin in MABEL’S BUSY DAY (1914) – Not exactly a wiener


A woman (Mabel Normand) tries to sell hot dogs during a car race, but the brutes who take the dogs from her expect only “free samples.” Meanwhile, Charlie’s first scene shows him kicking and punching his way through the gate in lieu of paying admission. Just the sort of action that’ll warm him to our hearts.

Soon enough, Charlie fends off a brute who is trying to fight Mabel. Mabel shows her gratitude, only to have Charlie steal a hot dog when she’s not looking. A chase ensues, and in ever-more-endearing behavior, Charlie nabs Mabel’s hot dogs and tries to sell them as his own. More kicking, punching, etc.

One wishes for the slightest logical motivation in a short subject like this, but when your comedy starts out trying to get laughs from stealing somebody’s livelihood, you’ve pretty well sealed your fate.

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