Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Filmed in late December of 1917 and early January of 1918, the Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle two-reeler The Bellboy was shipped to theaters in late March. A typically uproarious Arbuckle romp, the film cast him as the bellhop of a rundown rural hotel, with Buster Keaton as his assistant and Al St. John as the surly desk clerk. After the usual baggage-smashing slapstick shenanigans, the film focuses on its "main gag," as Arbuckle takes over a barber shop and shaves an unusually hirsute customer. In the course of the next few minutes, our hero's tonsorial skills transform the customer into the spitting image of (a) Abe Lincoln, (b) General Grant, and (c) Kaiser Wilhelm! There was an obligatory romantic subplot involving Arbuckle's perennial leading lady Alice Lake -- but who noticed?
barber, bellhop, slapstick