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On the Trail of the Keystone Kops

December 3, 2010 |  2:22 am

  Oct. 25, 1915, Costume Ball
Dec. 11, 1914, Keystone Comedians

  Feb. 28, 1913, Keystone  

Oct. 25, 1915: Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle … and Mayor Sebastian?

The ad for the costume ball is the earliest reference to the “Keystone Kops” that I can find in The Times. However, a little more digging turned up a Dec. 11, 1914, ad that refers to a live performance featuring the Keystone Comedians with the Keystone “Cops.”

One of the first references I found to the Keystone Comedy Co. is a Feb. 28, 1913, article about Mack Sennett taking over a mile of streetcar tracks around Central and Vernon for a picture (possibly “The New Conductor”) starring Ford Sterling.

The earliest reference I can find to Sennett in The Times is the Feb. 20, 1913, story of Barney Oldfield speeding him to rescue Mabel Normand, who had been tied to the railroad tracks.