Help The Mysterious Leaping Fish Discover the Wonder Dog, Teddy

Welcome in, gags

Alexander Razin
4 min readJul 7, 2022
Teddy is such a good boy. Source: Triangle Film Corporation

In the 1910s, films established themselves and replaced plays, making Nickelodeons the first locales where people watched the latest movie. In Nickelodeons, you can watch the newest film in a small room with a piano for five cents. Films of this era have grown from a few minutes to what we know as television show length. As a result, families or the lone moviegoer can watch a drama or comedy picture in said establishment.

Comedies by the 1910s were more fleshed out, as actors used more slapstick and gags, resulting in parody movies with gags and jokes from popular trends and films.

They released a few parody films in 1910, but the ones released were a sight to behold.

In the 1900s, people viewed Sherlock Holmes in a 30-second clip named Sherlock Holmes Battled, but they haven’t seen him as cocaine addicted eccentric who needed to shoot up every minute to function. 1903s The Mystery of the Leaping Fish sees Douglas Fairbanks as detective Coke Ennyday (that’s some clever shit. I can’t come up with that material) who must discover and stop the opium smugglers.

In the opium conflict, a young woman (Bessie Love) runs a fish inflatable shop near the beach and has problems accepting marriage from one of the opium fiends.

Yet, it’s okay because the drugged-out Coke Ennyday will save her, and in return, he can get some smooches.

Right off the bat, you can tell this is a parody. The director, John Emerson, makes fun of Sherlock Holmes by portraying him as a drug addict. The drugs let Coke Ennyday perform crazy stunts like leaping out of a swimming pool without grabbing the pier support or performing a high jump to reach a ledge on top of a wall.

You may wonder, how the hell did they let John Emerson make a film about cocaine and drug use in the 1910s…



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Alexander Razin

Aficionado and connoisseur of obscure and strange music, movies, and TV. Fictional and non-fictional pieces have their place here, too