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Silent Clowns: Marcel Perez, The International Mirth-Maker

February 10 @ 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

The Silent Clowns Film Series, showcasing silent rare and overlooked films from the 1920s with live piano accompaniment.

Marcel Perez is one of the best, lesser known comedians of the silent film era. Part of the first generation of screen clowns, his career began in 1900 and flourished until 1928. After helping create the ground rules for film comedy in Europe, he moved to the U.S. and continued to refine the genre. Starring, writing and directing over 200 short comedies, he was, along with Max Linder, one of the few direct links between European and American silent comedy. Our tribute to Perez begins in Italy in 1907 with The Short-Sighted Cyclist, and continues through Robinet Too Much Love By His Wife(1912), Some Hero (1916), Oh! What A Day (1918) to end up in Yonkers in 1920 for Sweet Daddy.

The Silent Clowns film series is New York’s longest-running regularly scheduled silent film showcase, featuring silent films paired with live piano accompaniment and discussion. The Silent Clowns’ programming reaches the serious film buff by including rarely-screened titles and rare prints, yet it also introduces kids and new audiences to the classics of the silent screen. Screenings feature piano by MoMA’s Ben Model, with an introduction and Q&A by film historians Model and Steve Massa.

Photo: “Marcel Perez at the peak of his popularity.” The Perez Family.

SEATING POLICY | Programs are free and open to all, but registration is requested. Check-in line forms 45 minutes before the advertised start time. Registered guests are given priority check-in 15 to 30 minutes before start time. Five minutes before the advertised start time, all seats are released, regardless of registration, to our patrons in the stand-by line. If you arrive after the program starts, you will be seated at the discretion of our front-of-house staff.

STANDBY LINE | If registration is sold out or has ended, do not fret! We welcome you to come to the Library regardless of registration status and wait in our standby line, which forms 45 minutes before the advertised start time. Five minutes before the program starts, all remaining seats are released. While this is not guaranteed, we will do our best to get you into any of our programs.

ASSISTIVE LISTENING AND ASL | ASL interpretation and real-time (CART) captioning available upon request. Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance by emailing

BRUNO WALTER POLICY | Please note that any unoccupied seat will be released five minutes before the show begins and holding seats for anyone beyond that is prohibited. There is no food or drink allowed inside the venue.

AUDIO/VIDEO RECORDING | Programs may be photographed and recorded by and at the discretion of the Library for the Performing Arts and will post signs indicating as such. If you would prefer your image not be captured, please let us know and we can seat you accordingly. Attending any program indicates your consent to being filmed/photographed and your consent to the use of your recorded image for any and all purposes of the New York Public Library.

PRESS | Please send all press inquiries to Alex Teplitzky at Please note that all recording, including professional video recordings, are prohibited without expressed consent from the Library.

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