Medical assessment of
comedians poking each other in the eye
many old movies, slapstick comedians would poke other comedians in the eye. A
Dutch medical team, writing in a Scottish medical journal, calculated the
physical damage this would have done if the eye-poking had been real
eye-poking, not just pretend, poking-fun poking:
trauma in Laurel and Hardy movies – another nice mess,” Lara D.A. Zegers and
Richard H.C. Zegers, Scottish Medical Journal, epub November 17, 2016. The
authors are respectively at Gerrit Rietveld College in Utrecht, and
Diakonessenhuis Utrecht/Zeist. They explain:
of the characteristics in Laurel and Hardy films is a lot of physical violence.
The present study examines the occurrence of eye trauma in Laurel and Hardy
movies and discusses the impact they could have been had if the films were set
92 movies starring Laurel and Hardy as a pair in leading roles were watched
together by the authors and were scored for any eye trauma. Eighty-eight eye
traumas happened, of which 48% were directed at Hardy. The eye poke was the
most frequently occurring eye trauma and the traumatic corneal abrasion was
very likely the most frequently occurring injury. Among the most serious causes
of eye trauma were the pin of a door handle, a stick, a champagne cork, a tree
branch and tacks.
Without a doubt, if their films had been reality, especially Hardy but also
Laurel and several other people, would have suffered from serious eye injuries
caused by the 88 eye traumas.