Media item

Toto Brothers

Film from the AFI/Peters (S.E.) Collection of the Library of Congress.


Opening title identifies this as a "balancing and iron jaw novelty act." Cuts to a long shot of a stage with a carpet and dark curtains as a backdrop, in front of which stand four chairs and a table. From stage left enters a man wearing dark leotards with a single-shouldered top, a waist belt, and dark high-top shoes with a white border. From stage right tumbles a male clown dressed in a white sailor suit and cap. The two engage in a slap-and-tumble novelty turn. The man then carefully positions two chairs facing each other on the carpet, but as he attends to one the clown sits in the other laughing, until it is yanked out from under him by his impatient "brother." This bit is repeated with the other chair. Finally, the two chairs are positioned correctly and the man performs a balancing act across them, with one arm on one chair and his feet on the other. Behind him, the clown grabs another chair and unsuccessfully attempts his own balancing act. His balancing brother, in the meantime, lowers himself as if doing a one-handed pushup, grabs in his mouth a handkerchief placed on the chair, and raises back up. He then encourages the clown to attempt the same act, with the expected humorous result that the chairs are pushed apart and the clown falls to the ground between them. The clown is picked up by his brother and tossed out of the way.

Probably filmed ca. 1918-19 in Chicago.

No copyright registration or production and distribution information could be found for an act under this name, but the film appears to be an uncopyrighted Spanuth's original vod-a-vil movie given the similarities in title graphics and camera technique to identified Spanuths.

See also the entry for this film on the Library of Congress American Memory website

Commonwealth Pictures Corp.; Hans A. Spanuth (producer)
Publication date:
31 December 1918


Toto Brothers (performers)
Original format:
Library of Congress