Fatty Arbuckle was a cabaret singer and vaudeville comic who joined Keystone Studios in 1913 to replace rotund comedian Fred Mace. Arbuckle was astonishingly agile, and could perform dangerous stunts with precision and dexterity. His sense of comedy was often cruel and crude. But like Charlie Chaplin, his taste matured as he gained comedy and film experience.

By 1920, Arbuckle was second only to Chaplin as an acclaimed comedy director and comedian. Two years later, a terrible and unfair scandal destroyed his career. Although later acquitted of the crime, he was banned from performing on screen.

For the next decade, Arbuckle worked steadily directing other comedians, including nephew Al St. John, Lloyd Hamilton, and Lupino Lane. In 1933, after starring in a successful series of sound comedy shorts for Warner Brothers, Arbuckle died in his sleep. He was just forty-six.