The Freckled Fish (1919)

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Charles Chaplin was so enormously popular during the 1910s and 1920s that he had literally dozens of imitators, both onscreen and in vaudeville. At one point, Stan Laurel, who was his understudy during his Karno days, was a Chaplin impersonator. But the most unusual Chaplin impersonator was probably Chai Hong, an Asian comic. He made a series of "Charlie from the Orient" films for the L-KO studios in 1917 and 1918. Although Hong had pretty much stopped playing the Asian Charlie by the time he made this film, he does appear with another immortal comic, Oliver Hardy (still several years off from teaming with Stan Laurel). L-KO films were often rather short on plot and long on nonsense, and this two-reeler was no exception. Hong plays the headwaiter at a restaurant called the Freckled Fish, while Hardy is Solomon Soopmeat, the chef. The cashier spends her time confusing the patrons, and the waiter and chef have their share of knockabout routines. With the exception of Hardy's presence, this was not one of L-KO's most notable films.