Mack Sennett

Mack Sennett and Mr Funny While not the first producer of Hollywood comedies, Canadian-born Mack Sennett was one of the best organized and most successful and the man who made them into real box office.  He was known throughout Hollywood as the King of Comedy.  His lesser-known, but nonetheless apposite, soubriquet was the King of Plumbers.  Growing up in Canada, Sennett had dreams of becoming an opera singer, but economic considerations forced him into such blue collar jobs as iron worker, boilermaker and assistant plumber when his Irish immigrant family moved to the US.  He wandered into the Biograph Company in 1908 where  DW Griffith hired him as an actor and part-time director. Soon he was directing all of Griffith’s comedies and then set up his own Keystone Studios where he hired one Charlie Chaplin.  Sennett lost a fortune in the stock market crash of 1929 but still enjoyed a long retirement.  He always had the plumbing to fall back on.  He died in California in 1960.