Zazu Pitts and Thelma Todd

ThelmaZazu
Zazu Pitts (left) and Thelma Todd (right)

Last night, I saw a short called “One Track Minds” from one of the few female comedy teams in the 30’s, Zazu Pitts and Thelma Todd.  The two of them made 17 short films together for Hal Roach Studios between 1931-33′.  I saw one other short they did last week called “On the Loose”, where the girls become annoyed when the men they were dating kept taking them back to Coney Island.  As a team Zazu and Thelma have good chemistry.  At times I found the humor in their shorts a little forced, but the two of them together are entertaining and fun to watch.  Helping these shorts along they had several guest cameos from different Hal Roach Players (In “On the Loose”, Laurel and Hardy make an appearance as their dates, and in “One Track Minds”, ‘Spanky’ Mc Farland (from Our Gang aka The Little Rascals) plays the little nephew of Zazu).  Zazu is clearly not as attractive as Todd, but the shorts I’ve seen never address it, which I think is a good thing since it shows two people as friends regardless of their looks, and the films never stoop to making jokes at Zazu’s expense.  I’d like to see more films with Zazu, but I’ve seen a few films with Todd, where she’s stared with comedy greats like Laurel and Hardy, The Marx Bros, and Wheeler and Woolsey, and she’s just as funny as she is gorgeous.  Tragically she left the world far too young at the age of 29.  Zazu continued to have a successful career until she passed away in 1963 at the age of 69.

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