When the Ham Turned (1914)

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This one-reel Lubin comedy stars Raymond McKee and features his occasional partner, Oliver Hardy, in a small role as a bartender (later on, Hardy would make comic history by teaming up with a different thin man, Stan Laurel). Hamo's talents as an actor -- or, rather, lack thereof -- get him chased out of town. Unfortunately, the next place he lands in the little hamlet of Slumberville, has seen his act, too, and the police chief (C.W. Ritchie) gives him a thorough beating before tossing him in jail. Before he is allowed to go, he is beaten up yet again. Hamo, fed up with this humiliating treatment, thrashes the chief and runs off dressed in his uniform. He causes trouble all over town, douses himself in liquor, and puts the uniform back on the chief. He then drags the chief through town and the mayor (Ed Lawrence) hails him as a hero for putting a halt to the rampage. Hamo wins a job as the town's new chief, which gives him the excuse to beat up the old chief again.