Silent comedy comes to life - Article, Office of College Advancement

Tuesday, April 30, 2013—Reprinted from Tri-City Voice.

Submitted by Ohlone College.

Scene from the movie 'College' with Buster Keaton.In the early days of film, with no dialog to tell the audience when to laugh, visual comedy was essential to audiences. In the 1910s and 1920s, thanks to silent films, California was producing some of the greatest comic talent the world has ever known; Buster Keaton, along with Charlie Chaplin, were arguably the funniest men who ever lived. Keaton developed and mastered a comic style using pratfalls, slapstick, and amazing physical stunts with his trademark deadpan expression that has remained fresh and vital almost 90 years later.

The Smith Center at Ohlone College is proud to present another Buster Keaton classic with live music accompaniment by organist Jerry Nagano. Nagano, one of the Bay Area's premier organists, accompanies Keaton's "College" (1927) on May 3 at 8:30 p.m. The film, a comedy-drama, is about college students and their misadventures along with a classic love story and plenty of amazing stunts.

Jerry Nagano has been the house organist for more than a decade at the renowned Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto, where classic Hollywood is screened nightly. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he began his musical training at the age of ten. However, after attending a silent movie show accompanied by the Mighty Wurlitzer, Nagano was captivated by the idea of accompanying silent films. He began studying organ under Gaylord Carter, one of the great silent film organists of the time. Since moving to the Bay Area Nagano has been the house organist at the acclaimed Paramount Theater in Oakland, played at Ye Olde Pizza Joynt in Hayward, and toured the country, accompanying silent classics.

Don't miss out on this incredible journey to the past with Jerry Nagano and Buster Keaton's 1927 silent classic "College." Tickets are available online or at the Smith Center box office. Please visit, or call the Smith Center Box Office at (510) 659-6031 for more information.

  • A Buster Keaton Silent Comedy with Organist Jerry Nagano
  • Friday, May 3
  • 8:30 p.m.
  • Smith Center at Ohlone College
    43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont
  • (510) 659-6031
  • Tickets: $20 General Admission, $18 Seniors & Students, $15 Youth (under 12)
  • $2 Event Parking

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