Pimple Parodies

Pimple Has One
R: Fred Evans, Joe Evans. B: Fred Evans, Joe Evans. D: Fred Evans. P: Piccadilly Film Productions. UK 1915
Print: BFI-National Archive

“The inebriate is a traditional music hall character and the ability physically to suggest drunkenness was a key skill for the comedian. Charlie Chaplin had specialised in this during his time with Karno, especially in the sketch A Night in the Show (US, 1915). Fred Evans, although not an especially proficient physical comedian, makes a good fist of this and uses the rocking camera and other traditional drunk gags. Interestingly, at the end, when Pimple encounters a loose woman who is flashing her ankles at him, he coyly looks directly at the camera and paints the glass white to obscure our view, in the equivalent of the theatrical ‘aside’.
Bryony Dixon

Lieutenant Pimple and the Stolen Submarine
R: Fred Evans, Joe Evans. B: Fred Evans, Joe Evans. D: Fred Evans, Joe Evans. P: Folly Films. UK 1914
Print: BFI-National Archive

“This was one of several Pimple parodies of popular adventure series heroes such as Lieutenant Rose and Lieutenant Daring. Highlights of the Stolen Submarine include an undersea fist-fight, a wooden battleship, and a novel alternative to sending a message in a bottle… Pimple was the creation of music hall duo Fred and Joe Evans, who filmed largely from their Thames-side premises on Eel Pie Island (the naval chase scene at the climax of this film was recognisably shot at Twickenham’s Embankment). The Pimple films were known for their endearingly low production values – cardboard sets and props worthy of Blue Peter – which were all part of the gag.”
BFI-National Archive

“The film naturally echoes the films it satirises. The spies are heavily bearded, and notably spy-like. The Royal Navy (in the guise of the wooden barge, HMS ‘Invincible’) gives chase and fires upon the spies, as in Lt Rose and the Stolen Code (1911). As in other Pimple films, the comedy is strikingly modern, reminiscent of Monty Python or Spike Milligan sketches.”
Simon Baker