Gilbert "Pee Wee" Holmes
A former rodeo daredevil rider, diminutive American comic actor Gilbert "Pee Wee" Holmes earned the Hollywood tag "The Clown of the Saddle." Holmes crashed the film business in 1923 supporting Tom Mix and Dustin Farnum in their Westerns for FOX. Universal, another studio with large sagebrush activity, paired him with Ben Corbett, a stoutish but equally bantam stunt man, in a series of Western two-reelers played entirely for laughs. Used as fillers to accompany the studio's standard fare of Hoot Gibson and Jack Hoxie Westerns (in many of which the two comics also appeared), the short subjects portrayed Holmes and Corbett as Dirtshirt and Magpie, a couple of eternally feuding ranch hands. The producers threw in actors in monkey suits, pretty girls, and a parade of character actors who were allowed to mug shamelessly. Not real actors in any established sense, both Holmes and Corbett suffered career setbacks when sound was introduced and were reduced to minor bit parts and background comedy relief.