Thursday, October 04, 2007
Master of Malapropism
In my youth I greatly, enjoyed old reruns of 'The Bowery Boys' and especially loved the linguistic twists so often employed by it's lead character, Slip Mahoney. Well, I didn't realize there was even a word for it. A malapropism is the incorrect use of a word by substituting a similar-sounding word with different meaning, usually with comic effect. This is exactly what ol' Slip Mahoney always did and what attracted me to the hilarious series in the first place. Slip, played by Leo Gorcey, was a master of malapropism which henceforth became my favorite style of comedy. If done with talent and timing nothing beats this method of comedic effect.
From the mid thirties to the mid fifties Leo Gorcey was a very, busy actor. He became famous as the leader of the fictional gangs known as The Dead End Kids (1937-39), The East Side Kids (1940-45), and best of all The Bowery Boys (1946-56).