In the movie Blotto (1930), how does Stan Laurel do this thing with his ears?

Here is the clip (the ear movement is around 13:45):

  • Similar to this scene, at :45, which i have also always wondered about youtu.be/gBHoCGFXX8E – Dpeif Nov 14 '16 at 22:27
  • Possibly with invisible wires. @Dpeif Er, hippos actually do that. ;) – Walt Nov 14 '16 at 22:35
  • @Walt are you implying jim carrey is a hippo? – Dpeif Nov 14 '16 at 22:36
  • @Dpeif Whoops. I stopped watching right after 0:45. :D It does seem like someone is moving Carrey's ears somehow; there's some suspicious movement around them. – Walt Nov 14 '16 at 22:40
  • @Walt agreed, wondering if its a device, or someone behind him (?) – Dpeif Nov 14 '16 at 22:43

Well he apparently did not do it naturally. According to this Laurel and Hardy website, it was done using strings and creative filming. Here is an extract that explains it:

One surefire gag in Hal Roach shorts was ear-wiggling. Only a few months before, the studio built an entire Our Gang comedy around this notion; Messrs. Beanie Walker and Bob McGowan named it WIGGLE YOUR EARS. In BLOTTO when Stan finally tastes Anita's intoxicating mixture, he blinks his eyes, and frantically wiggles his ears. Decades later in l962, New England television personality Hal Stanton wrote and asked Stan Laurel how he performed this pulsating trick. "Very simple," Laurel answered in his usual gracious fashion, "A thread is attached to each ear with adhesive tape, the threads extend to below camera level and are pulled back and forth at a camera speed of 8 or l2 frames per second. The threads are painted with opaque paint so they won't show in the scene."

But ear wiggling is genetically possible for many of us. Learn to do it.

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